2011, Recipe 63: Sesame Chicken Salad with Cucumber & Cilantro

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb), cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide finger strips
  • 1 ½  cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A couple good handfuls of stemmed spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted in a dry skillet over low heat, plus extra for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, ginger, and sugar. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put it in another bowl large enough to hold it, pour over half of the vinaigrette and toss. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours if you have the time, or until you’ve got the rest of the dish ready to go. Set the rest of the vinaigrette aside.

When you’re ready to cook, put the panko and sesame seeds in a shallow platter and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix with your fingers so that the seasoning is incorporated and then taste it – the panko should be well seasoned. Roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned crumbs, patting gently so that the crumbs adhere, until well coated.

Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Line a platter with paper towels and set that to the side of the stove. Add about half of the chicken pieces to the pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken to the platter to drain. Do the same to cook the rest of the chicken.

Put the spinach in bowl with the cucumber strips. Add the rest of the vinaigrette and the toasted sesame seeds, season with salt and pepper, and give it a good toss. To serve, divide the chicken strips between four plates. Put a handful of dressed spinach on top, shower with more toasted sesame seeds and cracked black pepper.

Results: Rashan LOVED this!  He called the chicken "tremendous" and I beamed for like 20 minutes.  LOL.  The dressing was a bit strong for me since I don't like soy sauce that much and a little dressing goes a long way.  I think I might have overdressed my greens.  The second day, I dressed less and enjoyed it much more.  

Oh and I love the chicken splitting technique!  It makes you feel like you're getting way more food!  It made me realize even more how over sized chicken breasts are.  I can definitely see myself splitting them for other recipes.


K. Rock said...

Yes! Ever since I split those chx breasts for my moms birthday dinner, I have begun doing that too. They cook so much faster. This looks good but I am not the biggest fan of sesame seeds.

Jameil said...

So cool! The sesame seeds actually didn't bother me at all. I can't say I have any sesame feelings at all.