If you've relegated chicken salad to lunchtime meals, I'd like you to reconsider its virtues. It's ultra-flexible in terms of what you can put in it — even down to the main ingredient itself, which you can cook from scratch or take from what's left over from your oven or the supermarket rotisserie.
Here, the chicken is poached in water with a little onion for flavor. But if you use chicken broth instead, the meat picks up even more in that department. The dressing's creaminess is mostly full-fat yogurt with a touch of mayonnaise. Celery, carrot and sesame seeds provide the crunch.
The chicken's good atop your favorite salad greens or stuffed into pita pockets.
In testing, we used the roasted sesame seeds you can find on the Asian aisle at most grocery stores. We also tried the recipe with Sriracha-flavored sesame seeds, available at Whole Foods Markets: Big hit! And they look great, too.
Sesame Chicken Salad
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 12 ounces)
½ medium onion
2 ribs celery
1 medium carrot
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
Salad greens, for serving
Cut chicken breast in half lengthwise. Cut the ½ onion into rings, if using.
Combine the chicken and onion, if using, in a medium saucepan and cover with water or broth. Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, just until tender with no traces of pink left. Drain and cut into chunks; cover loosely to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cut the celery into ½-inch dice. Trim and scrub the carrot, then cut into very thin slices, on the diagonal.
Combine in a mixing bowl, along with the celery seed, salt, pepper, yogurt and mayo, stirring to incorporate. Add the warm chicken and sesame seeds, tossing gently to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Serve atop your favorite salad greens. Sprinkle each portion with more sesame seeds.
Makes 2 very generous servings.
Recipe adapted from 100 Creative Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken in Everyday Meals by Trish Rosenquist (Page Street Publishing, 2015)
Food on 04/10/2019
Print Headline: Sesame Chicken Salad a cut above