Friday, September 23, 2011

Recipe: Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

I’m sitting here noshing on this salad so I can get my peanut fix without pouncing the 36 peanut butter cookies cooling on the kitchen counter. The great thing about 5-ingredient recipes? You always have everything on-hand. The bad thing about 5-ingredient recipes? You always have everything on-hand. Especially notable when it’s pouring in New York and you don’t quite feel like trudging to the store.  

(Edit: Looking at the paragraph above makes me dizzy. Sorry I'm not sorry.)

But on to this wonderfully flavorful and healthy chicken salad, brought to my attention by my friend and social-media extraordinaire, JM.

For fear of blowing $10+ a day on lunch and being on a first-name basis with the Qdoba employees, I’ve been revisiting the habit of bringing my lunch to work. Last week it was white bean salad with olives, and this week it was this Thai-inspired chicken salad with peanut dressing.

Poaching keeps the chicken extremely moist, which contrasts nicely with the crunch of the broccoli slaw – Crunch that’s still very much present 5 days later. Great for offices without a microwave, since it’s best eaten cold or room temp.

[Original Recipe from Foodily/Redbook]
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 cups once cooked and shredded; can substitute shredded rotisserie chicken)
2 cups broccoli slaw mix
1 cup coarsely grated carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
1/3 cup sliced scallions

1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
4 tsp gluten free soy sauce
¼ tsp to 1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional; I used ½ tsp)
Juice of ½ a lime

Optional Garnishes:
Crushed peanuts
Lime wedges

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the chicken, and place over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce it to a simmer. Add both chicken breasts, cover pot with a lid, and poach for about 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove one piece of chicken and cut into the thickest part to check for doneness. If the chicken is still at all pink, return it to the pot and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked through, move to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

While chicken is cooling, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until it's completely smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, grated carrots and scallions. Using your hands or two forks, shred the cooled chicken and add that to the veggies. Toss to combine.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all of the ingredients are coated.

Serve cold or at room temp, and garnish with crushed peanuts and lime wedges. 


  1. This looks like something I'd love. Need to add it to the long long list of things to make!

  2. Such a GREAT recipe! So simple and the combo of the soy+vinegar+peanut is amazingly satisfying. The pic looks great.

  3. Little late on the comment, I know, but I just found you on Pinterest... new to gluten-free.

    I wanted you to know I made this last night for dinner, only I lightly sauteed the slaw and carrots with some onion and garlic before I added the chicken and dressing. I used coconut oil and almond butter and toasted sesame seeds too. I doublethe dressing and served it with brown rice. It was amazing! And very filling. The dressing is so flavorful!

    It's finally warming up here in the midwest so I'll be trying this as you posted too, because it will be so refreshing with grilled chicken on a hot day!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. Hey! So funny (in like, a sad funny way) - I actually found out a few months after making this that I'm allergic to peanuts. I had been wondering how it would taste with almond butter, but hadn't had a chance to try it out. Beyond glad to hear that it worked out for you! I'm also definitely going to try it with coconut oil - sounds like a great addition.

      Thanks for commenting/reading! So appreciate it :)

  4. Dressing should be tasty on burgers too


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