Loaded with fresh, vibrant veggies, tender poached chicken and a flavorful dressing, this Asian Chicken and Spinach Salad makes for a satisfying meal.
For the dressing (makes just over a cup):
6 T. rice vinegar
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 T. hoisin sauce
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. toasted sesame oil
3/4 t. chili-garlic paste (or you could substitute with your favorite hot sauce)
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 t. grated fresh ginger
1/3 c. canola oil
1 1/2 T. toasted sesame seeds
For the chicken:
1 c. water
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. mirin (sweet rice wine)
4 (1/8 inch thick) slices of ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Remaining salad ingredients:
6 oz. package baby spinach
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 c.)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchstick pieces
3/4 c. shelled edamame
11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted
Make the dressing. In a blender combine all the dressing ingredients except for the sesame seeds. Blend until well combined. Add the sesame seeds, pulse two or three more times. Pour into a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Poach the chicken. In a large skillet combine all the ingredients for the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the chicken over, cover and gently simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (Adjusting heat as necessary to keep the chicken at a gentle simmer, a hard boil will produce tough chicken.) Remove chicken from poaching liquid and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly. Toss with a spoonful or two of the dressing.
Finish the salad. Combine all the vegetable components in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss gently to combine. Divide salad onto individual plates, top with chicken and toasted almonds.