Photo by Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post
This salad of shredded chicken tossed with a colorful slaw of red bell pepper, green cabbage and carrot, coated in an aromatic and savory soy dressing is designed to hold up well in the refrigerator, so it is an ideal make-ahead dinner, packed lunch or potluck party dish. The key is to store the dressing separately and toss it with the salad within several hours, or right before serving.
The undressed salad components can be refrigerated a day in advance. The dressing may be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Once dressed, the salad should be consumed within several hours for best quality.
Shredded Chicken and Vegetable Salad with Soy Sesame Dressing
FOR THE SALAD
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, scrubbed well, and then cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
16 large Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves, for serving
FOR THE DRESSING
3 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
For the salad: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts between pieces of plastic wrap, then pound them to an even 1/2-inch thickness.
Arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish; drizzle both sides with the olive oil and season with the salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake (middle rack) for 20 to 30 minutes, or just until the chicken has cooked through (start checking at 20 minutes). Uncover and let cool. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
When you’re ready to assemble the salad, pull the chicken apart with your fingers into thin strips. (Alternatively, you could skip the cooking step and use 3 cups of meat pulled from a cooked rotisserie chicken.)
Combine the chicken, cabbage, bell pepper, carrot and cilantro in a mixing bowl.
For the dressing: Whisk together the walnut or olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl to form an emulsified dressing. Pour over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
Serve in or alongside lettuce leaves, to be eaten taco-style.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: Calories 330; Total Fat 17g; (Sat Fat 2g); Protein 34g; Carb 9g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 400mg; Total Sugar 6g (including 3g added sugar)