Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Spicy Peanut Chicken Salad

A few weeks ago I mentioned that in trying to streamline our food budget, I was purchasing a whole chicken and getting two meals out of it. I made a delicious Buttermilk Roasted Chicken, and this recipe used up the leftover chicken. I loved that this was so quick to put together, it's literally as easy as cooking up the pasta and chopping some veggies in the meantime. You make a delicious peanut sauce in the blender, and pour it over the whole thing and dig in! 

My husband and I really enjoyed this meal, the only thing that would make it better would be some egg rolls or summer rolls alongside. I love using leftovers to make something entirely different, and I love it even more when it only takes 10-15 minutes to put together. The sauce was delightful but I wanted it sweeter, so I added more honey to fit my tastes. Don't be afraid to change up a recipe to fit your liking. It's no fun eating something that doesn't taste quite right to you. This is a great meal for the kiddos too! Hiding a gamut of veggies in with pasta and a peanut sauce is a great way to do that. You could use any leftover meat here (turkey, pork, even steak) and it would be delicious. Any way you decide to make it, just give it a try. 

Spicy Peanut Chicken Salad, serves 6, from Pinch of Yum

1 cup julienne red and yellow pepper
1 cup shredded or julienne carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken breast
8 oz. cooked soba noodles or whole grain linguine

Dressing:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons sesame or canola oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 minced small red Thai chili pepper, seeds and ribs removed (another hot chili pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano, could be substituted)
1/3 cup peanuts

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Puree dressing ingredients (except peanuts) in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add peanuts last and process until just finely chopped. Pour over salad and toss well.

Top individual servings with fresh basil and cilantro!

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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