Dinning out is often challenging to persons adhering to Paleolithic nutrition. I was delighted to order a Chinois Chicken Salad (pictured above) at a local burger joint, Lil H Burger in Denver, Colorado. If you have an opportunity to visit this restaurant simply request the wontons be held from your salad and order the dressing on the side. The salad was so tasty I omitted the dressing completely.
Following is my attempt to recreate this gem at home beginning with the grilled boneless chicken breast.
The chicken breast is the centerpiece of this simple salad and careful selection and preparation of the meat is essential to serving a delicious meal. Cook's Illustrated reports that the typical American consumes approximately 84 pounds of chicken per year and the majority of sales in stores are for boneless chicken breasts. In taste-tests Cook's Illustrated (2012) recommends the Bell & Evan's air chilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts for overall quality, taste, and texture. I purchased the local Whole Foods organic skinless chicken breasts with an animal welfare rating of 2. When purchasing prepackaged chicken breasts check the ingredient list and be aware that "injected" or "enhanced" chicken breasts may dilute the taste of the chicken with sodium, broth, and water.
The breasts for this salad are lightly salted and peppered prior to cooking. I use a Panini pan to grill chicken breasts; however, the chicken breasts may also be gently sautéed in olive oil in a conventional pan or prepared on the grill with internal temperature of the breasts reaching 160 degrees. I encourage you to use your favored method of preparation. After cooking allow the breasts to rest 10 minutes after cooking and prior to serving on the salad.
1 5 ounce container organic baby romaine greens, rinsed
1 cup organic green cabbage- shredded coarsely
2 organic granny smith apples thinly sliced (16 slices per apple)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
4 grilled chicken breasts sliced with a diagonal cut (this technique is called “fanning”)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 turn of celtic sea salt from salt mill (large pinch)
1 tsp. organic french thyme (dried)
Combine ingredients for vinaigrette in mini food processor and mix for 15 seconds. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to serving. I served this dressing on the side to allow for individual choice and preference regarding the amount of dressing per salad. The remaining dressing may be refrigerated for up to one week.
In a large mixing bowl combine romaine and shredded cabbage mixing gently, refrigerate prior to serving. Slice apples approximately 10 minutes prior to assembling the salad to prevent browning of fruit. Set cranberries and sesame seeds to the side en mise.
Prepare four plates. Distribute salad greens evenly on plates into four servings. Sprinkle cranberries and sesame seeds (optional) evenly over salad. Apply apple slices in circular pattern. Complete the salad with individual sliced chicken breasts placed on the greens. Serve and Enjoy with mustard vinaigrette served on the side.
I received positive comments from my family about this salad- most especially the chicken breast reaffirming my philosophy that product quality is crucial to successful cooking. One possible substitution is kiwi and walnuts for the apples and sesame seeds. The basic recipe is a simple palette for your special touch. Enjoy!