Sesame Chicken Salad: Sesame, sesame mucho.

I like the little touches.

Like the sesame seeds in the recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad I was making for dinner tonight. Yum. I got a tub of them because it was cheaper than buying a little container. I’m sure I can use them for cookies, making my own hamburger rolls, annoying people by sticking them in their teeth while they sleep, etc.

Seriously, who buys a tub of sesame seeds? Me ME! I do!

Why? Because I had a Pyrex measuring cup full of Ginger Lime syrup and without access to a functioning blender I could not make margaritas. Since dinnertime was on the horizon, my only option was to prepare the recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing. Seriously. Not doing would have caused the earth to explode in a shower of sparks. Horrible. And so for the good of all mankind I shopped for sesame seeds.

Sesame Chicken (or Tuna) Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing a la Liz
(Serves 4, but I’m just one person. Takes a little over an hour to prepare.)

1/4 cup Ginger Lime Syrup (made it Tuesday)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce

Avocado garnish:
1 Hass avocado- pitted
2 tsp fresh lime juice (NO! NO MORE JUICING LIMES!) I used fresh lemon juice.
3 tbsp + 2 tsp EVOO
6 radishes, sliced thinly

2 chicken breasts- 1 for now, cook the second for another meal
1/3 sesame seeds
freshly ground black pepper

Baby spinach

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Mix the dressing incredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with a potato masher- but only after you try it with a fork and realize it’s going to take an inordinate amount of time. Fold in lemon juice and 1 tsp EVOO with a tiny dash of salt. Mmm… salt.

In a small bowl, toss radishes with 1 tsp EVOO and a smidge of salt. Refrigerate and let the radishes sweat it out.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Spread the sesame seeds in a shallow bowland press the chicken breast in to coat. The recipe says one side, but why not both? It’s pretty!

In a skillet over high heat, add the remaining 3 tbsp of EVOO and heat. Add the chicken and cook until the seeds are golden brown- about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a pie tin and place in the oven (the recipe says put the skillet in the oven, but… no). Bake for 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Arrange the spinach on the plate, topped with the avocado mixture and half of the radish slices. Place the chicken breast on top, garnish with the remaining radish slices.

Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Wine: they recommend a dry Reisling. Luckily I still had half a bottle left after the Grilled Tuna experiment.

(Food & Wine September 2006)

Ooh ooh! I learned something again:

  1. The chicken was tender and juicy. I’d done the “sear and broil” method with steak and it was just as effective with chicken. Absolutely delicious.
  2. The radishes were fun for reasons I can’t explain- I bought a bunch and just enjoyed washing them, chopping off the stems and carefully slicing them. For some reason it was a lot more soul-satisfying than if I’d bought them precut. Just another one of those little touches.
  3. The syrup was great in the dressing, but there’s just so MUCH of it. Next time less lime.
  4. Presentation makes a meal. It really does. The recipes in the magazine are not only delicious but colorful and not all that hard to replicate.
  5. Sesame seeds come in raw, toasted and baked. Seriously.

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