Apr 30 2012
I have to confess that just about a week ago, Greg and I had the pleasure of dining at the fine eating establishment that is Applebee’s. That’s right, we were eatin’ good in the neighborhood (should I mention a trademark here so I don’t get sued?) and it was a PLEASURE. Not just our wonderful friends and dining companions but the meal was really pretty enjoyable.
I had it in my head that I wanted a nice big salad–you know, the kind they always have at casual restaurants like Applebee’s–but the one I chose ended up being a delicious chopped salad. It was chock full of chicken, beans and veggies all chopped small and the other-stuff-to-lettuce proportion was far higher than in one of typical big salads. All those flavors and textures made me one happy casual diner.
So, when it came time to use up more of that roasted chicken in a salad, I was delighted to re-interpret Cook’s Illustrated’s Thai-style Chicken Dinner Salad into a chopped salad. The elements were all there–chicken, several veggies and a super flavorful dressing but instead of serving in a lump on top of greens, I finely chopped everything, including a bit of farmers’ market romaine, and drizzled with dressing.
The dressing on this salad is insanely flavorful. The Thai-style combination of peanut, chili, garlic, ginger and lots of lime give an outstanding burst of sweet/spicy/tart/nutty that just coats all those little pieces of healthy goodness. Packing lettuce, cukes, carrots, onions and chicken all in little pieces makes for big hearty spoonfuls of a little bit of everything–much more satisfying as a dinner than stuff on top of a big mound of lettuce.
Yet another round of dining bliss, only this time from my own kitchen and with local ingredients. And I didn’t have to pay $10 plus tip for it either!