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Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad
Shredded chicken, diced avocado and shredded greens are dressed with the flavors of Southeast Asia to make a light main-course salad for the outdoor table. Fish sauce, a salty seasoning, is sold in Asian markets. For a festive presentation, omit the diced avocado from the salad and spoon the salad into 4 avocado halves.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast halves, each 1/2 lb.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage
  • 1/2 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1/3 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. seeded and minced serrano chili
  • 1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Place the chicken breast halves, skin side up, on a rack in a small roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the juices no longer run pink when the chicken is pierced to the bone with a knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove and discard the skin. Remove the chicken from the bone and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Place the cabbage half on a cutting board and, using a large knife, slice across the cut side into the thinnest possible shreds. Measure out 2 cups; reserve any left over for another use. Cut and measure the lettuce in the same way. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the dressing. Add the cabbage, lettuce and chili and toss to combine. Add the diced avocado and gently turn the salad to distribute evenly.

Divide the salad among 4 individual bowls or plates. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Casual Outdoor Dining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1998).