Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

In my mind summer is pretty much over, and I am ready for fall, and all the stuff that comes with it, including the menu!  However, I may just be willing to hang onto the last bit of summer if it means dinners like this!  Such a refreshing and flavorful salad, with all the right textures.  You get the softness of the chicken (I of course used rotisserie – an obsession of mine if you haven’t realized by now lol), the crispness of the cabbage and peppers, and the crunch from the peanuts all smothered in a fantastic Thai peanut sauce.

Interesting little realization was the lack of dairy in this salad… it’s not often I make even salads that don’t have it, and of course my stomach thanks me on those rare occasions I pull off a meal without it.  Normally salads in my world at least have cheese, but there is no need for it in this one.  Whether you have IBS like me, or are just watching your calories this is always a good thing.  Speaking of IBS and the low FODMAP diet I am “trying” (and I say that in quotes because I have been less than strict with it) I would say this stacks up fairly well unless you are a person that is sensitive to things like cabbage.  It didn’t bother me at all.

The recipe came from a blogger living in The Philippines, and her recipe called for green papaya.  I am not all that familiar with papaya in general, and certainly not green vs whatever else.  I know they have papaya at the store, but doubt it’s what her recipe calls for.  Anyway, I decided not to be quite so adventurous and instead replaced the papaya with some red and yellow bell peppers which I knew would go well with the Thai flavors.  Also, in our house the peanut butter is typically crunchy, so that’s what I used though I am sure it meant creamy.  Not a big deal, just makes it a bit harder to whisk up the sauce, but not impossible.  Just make sure you’re wearing an apron!  And the final change I made was to use half a serrano pepper in place of the birds eye chili peppers because I had that already on hand.

This is definitely one recipe I can see myself making often!

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

Serves : 4-6

Ingredients :

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or the equivalent of in rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
  • 1 large carrot (1 1/2 cup shredded)
  • 1 green papaya (1 1/2 cup shredded) * I replaced with the equivalent of red and yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 birds eye chili peppers
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions :

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from heat, drain water, let cool, and shred with two forks. (Or skip this because you were smart like me and bought rotisserie chicken… or even better yet pre-shredded rotisserie chicken)
  2. Chop the cabbage into very thin pieces, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this by rolling up several leaves together and making thin vertical slices across the roll and then chopping them once horizontally. Peel and grate the carrots. Cut off the skin, remove the seeds, and grate the papaya. Roughly chop the cilantro and green onions. Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.
  3. Mince the garlic and chili peppers. Place garlic and peppers in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Pinch of Yum

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