Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oriental Chicken Salad

You know how sometimes you find a Copy Cat recipe for a restaurant specialty item and you make it and it tastes like ca-ca?  That happened to me.  More on that later.

My husband and I were out driving around a couple of weekends ago and he stopped at a garage sale that was just getting ready to shut down.  The girl just said, "Take everything, it's free.  I don't want to drag it all back into the house."  We didn't take everything but we did grab a few cookbooks and this was one of them.
Let me "rabbit trail" for a moment here.  First you must know something about me before I continue this story. 
I do.  It's so yummy. 
Basically I order a bowl of the dressing and a few pieces of lettuce.  The dressing is just divine.
Whenever we go to Applebee's, I make a big show of looking over the menu. 
My husband rolls his eyes and says, "You know you're getting the same salad." 
I just keep looking at the menu commenting on how good the fajitas look or how I bet those nachos are really good.
Then the waitress comes over.
And I say, "I'll have the Oriental Chicken Salad."
And my husband just smiles.  He's kinda smart like that.

So, I was very excited to see a recipe for the salad in this new cookbook.  I made it today and it was just like the Applebee's version!  I'm telling you, JUST LIKE IT!! 
I wanted to share it with you.

You will want to triple the recipe for the dressing because you will want to eat it for lunch everyday for the next few days.  I'm not kidding.  I'm really not kidding.
Here's what you'll need for the dressing:

3 Tablespoons of Honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons of white vinegar
4 teaspoons of mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

What?  You don't have sesame oil?  Can you substitute olive oil, you ask?
I mean, no, you cannot.
The sesame oil, even though it's only 1/8 teaspoon makes or breaks this dressing.  I had to go out and buy it and it was something like $8.00 a bottle.  I think you may have underestimated my love for this salad, huh?

So, anyhoo, put all that stuff together and whisk or blend it together.  I used my magic bullet which was......magical.

Then you're going to start making your salad while the dressing chills in the fridge.

The recipe in the book tells you how to fry the chicken.  I don't play like that.  I do my own thang.  I'm a rebel.  I buy frozen chicken strips.  Don't you just love frozen chicken?  I do.  I am not ashamed at all to admit that.
So heat however much you'll want.

Make your salad:
The recipe calls for romaine, red cabbage, napa cabbage and carrots.
I used only green leaf lettuce, red cabbage and carrots.  Chop the stuff up and grate the carrots.  At this point you can either scrape your knuckles on the grater or leave that part out.  Your call but I usually leave that part in.

After chicken is done cooking, slice into bite sized pieces.
Mix together, throw some chow mein noodles and sliced almonds on top.
Then top with your chicken.  Now take the dressing out of the fridge.  There may be a bright glowing light coming from the dressing and angels might be singing, it's okay, just pour it on top.

As for that recipe gone bad.  You remember, the ca-ca one?
My husband is always commenting on how good Benihana's ginger dipping sauce is.  I found the recipe in the same cookbook and made it.  I followed it perfectly and it was not good.  Not good at all.  At least not good for dipping.  But we were having salmon that night on the grill so I marinated the fish in the stuff and it came out pretty good.

And that's all I have to say about that.



Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing!! I love Applebees and I love that salad!! Can't wait to make it myself.

Corners of My Life said...

Hooray, I have Sesame seed oil in my cupboard as I bought it, just like you, for a recipe that called for a teaspoon. Now I'll get to use another 1/8 teaspoon.

Tammy said...

Looks yummy! He's gone to Benihana's? =P

Kris said...

Oh la la...I LOVE that salad too. Can't wait to make it...thank you for sharing the recipe!!!!!!