Good Eats (apologies, Alton)

For dinner on Saturday, I made a light dish (on Friday) that has become a real favorite, beloved by everyone to whom Janet and I have introduced it. We like it so much that I quadruple the recipe (even without guests)! As recent posts have definitely been full-length or better, I thought I would keep todayʼs short and sweet (and tasty).

This is one recipe for which I know exactly who provided it to Janet — Peace Pipe Players cohort Mary Gilmore (but as her name is “Judyʼs Chinese Chicken Salad,” I assumed she did not invent the dish herself). For bringing it to a PPP potluck and later passing on the recipe, she will have our eternal gratitude, no matter what else occurs (and it will).

Hereʼs what you need:

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad in our big bowl — no picture would do it justice, especially not this one; and I think I used too much oil on Friday for the dressing

  • 1 package of Ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
  • 4 cups of shredded coleslaw (we buy the prepackaged, bagged, chopped cabbage-and-carrots stuff)
  • ½ cup of sliced/chopped/otherwise cut up green onion
  • 2 cups of cubed or chopped chicken (we use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled)
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds (weʼll explain the toasting part soon)
  • 2 tablespoons of Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (canola works for us)

dressing

  • 1/3 cup of oil (still canola — I cut it down by more than half sometimes)
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper (I double that, or more sometimes)
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar (I use the fake sweetener and only two packets when I quadruple)
  • the Oriental flavor packet from the Ramen noodles

First, crunch, crumble and otherwise reduce the Ramen noodles to edible small pieces (I have in the past placed all the squares of Ramen in a big plastic bag, sealed the bag and lightly pounded it with a rubber hammer; but on Friday I just crunched by hand in the bowl). Of course, remove the flavor packet and put its contents in a small bowl with the pepper and sugar or sweetener (and other spices you might want to experiment with). Stir rapidly the 1/3 cup of oil into the dry ingredients in the small bowl (flavor packet stuff, pepper and sugar); I use a small whisk to get a good suspension.

If you havenʼt, cook your chicken, let it cool and cut it into small pieces/cubes.

Then heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan or small wok, and when itʼs hot, add the almonds, Ramen noodles and Sesame seeds; sauté/stir fry (keeping everything moving so the seeds, in particular, donʼt burn) until the seeds, nuts and noodle fragments are browned lightly. Let them cool, too.

The Lovely One demomstrating the size of our big plastic bowl relative to a human being

Place your coleslaw (four cups is one or two of those bags of coleslaw — I am generous with the slaw element) into a large bowl (preferably one you can close tightly with a cover, so that you are mixing in the storage container. Add the toasted stuff (nuts, seeds and noodle pieces) and stir it all up (I like to put the lid on the huge plastic bowl we use and toss it all inside, shaking the bowl). Add the chicken and stir it in as well. Then after rewhisking your dressing combination in the small bowl, stir the dressing into the salad in the bowl, covering everything evenly (again, shaking the bowl, firmly lidded, works great for us).

Refrigerate for a few hours. Eat. Keep the remainder refrigerated. (If you only make the quantity called for in the recipe, you probably wonʼt have any left over.) It continues to taste great for days — about a week, until the slaw starts to ferment (sorry, but if you leave it too long, it thinks you are making it into Chinese sauerkraut!) — so eat it all up in a week or less.

My so-called quadrupling is four bags of coleslaw but everything else — except oil and sweetener, which I try to keep far lighter than the original recipe, which strikes me as really too greasy — tripled (i.e. three Ramen noodle packages, an entire bunch plus of green onion chopped up, as much chicken as I feel carnivorous, 4 or 5 tablespoons of Sesame seeds, two of those small bags of sliced almonds, and all three flavor packets in the oil-reduced dressing).

There you have it. Easy enough for me to make. Good Eats — really, truly delicious. If I didnʼt triple or quadruple it, Janet would never get any.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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