Thursday, April 9, 2009
Barefoot Bloggers Chinese Chicken Salad
I recently joined the Barefoot Bloggers group and the first Ina recipe I was to make was her Chinese Chicken Salad. We have made many of her recipes, so this group seemed like the perfect excuse for us to have an Ina meal every other week. Most often, we don't have to buy out of the ordinary (for us) ingredients for one of Ina's recipes, but we did not have sesame oil or seeds, so it was off to the local asian market. We were really thankful to have them since we were able to pick up the udon noodles we would use for the side dish we were making. The chicken salad went together without a hitch, and I definately recommend roasting the bone-in chicken breasts as opposed to the boneless, skinless variety. There is a moistness you just can't acheive otherwise. One thing I would like to mention is that Ina's recipe calls for salt in addition to the soy sauce. After reading many reviews on the Food Network site, I opted not to add the salt in order to have a little more control over the taste of the dish. It was certainly a good choice to make. I love salt, but even without the amount called for in the recipe, I was happy with the results and didn't need to add a bit. The vegetables were crisp, the chicken was moist, and the flavor of the dressing was spot-on. Since we were having company, I thought I better make a side dish to go along with the chicken salad. I stumbled upon a recipe for Peanut Butter Noodles over at All Recipes, and it did not disappoint. If you haven't tried udon noodles, it would be worth your time. The texture is interesting and mixed with the peanut butter sauce, quite delicious. The added crunch of the chopped peanuts and scallions gave a nice contrast to the noodles, and we will certainly make this again. A word to the wise: watch how much chile paste you add, as it can turn the heat up very quickly!