Patrice's Dianne Salad

Circle B Kitchen

This is my version of the famous Dianne Salad served at Green St. Restaurant in Pasadena, Ca. I've been making this salad for years and it's become a family favorite. Over time I've taken to slicing won ton wrappers very thin and baking them in a 350 degree oven until they're brown and crispy and subbing them out for the fried bean thread noodles. Both are great. And in order to maximize the flavor, I like to brine the chicken before cooking it, but it's an optional step that you can eliminate if you're in a hurry. And who isn't when you're about to eat a Dianne Salad!

Note (8-2-2016): I make this salad often and it continues to be one of our very favorite meals. I've recently made a couple of changes that I think are worth noting. Instead of the bean thread noodles, I've started cutting won ton wrappers into very thin strips, spraying them with cooking spray and baking them until they're brown and crisp. They're a wonderful substitution if you don't want to fry up the noodles. Also, I've been subbing out chia seeds for the poppy seeds in the dressing and we love it. You still get the little poppy seed crunch, but if you let the dressing sit for a bit, the chia seeds will thicken the dressing, making it a little more like the original. Enjoy!

Serves 2 or 3

Lots of crisp lettuce (fresh romaine), chopped

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup of toasted slivered almond

½ cup of Chinese bean thread or rice noodles (see note above)

Dressing (follows)

Brine the Chicken breasts: Mix 6 cups of cold water with 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/4 cup of sugar. Place the chicken breasts in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Pat dry.

Season each breast with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes per side. Cover, remove from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Cut into ½ inch chunks and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad. This can be done the day before.

Heat about 2 cups of oil in an 8” or 10” skillet until very hot. Drop a few of the bean thread noodles into the hot oil and as soon as the puff up, remove to a paper towel with tongs.

Dianne Salad dressing:

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (or chia seeds)

Combine the dressing ingredients (preferably in a jar so you can shake to mix), and set aside until ready to dress the salad.

Combine the romaine lettuce, almonds, chicken and noodles. Pour enough of the dressing onto the salad to coat it well without over-soaking it. The dressing that you may have left over will keep for a few weeks in a cool, dark place.

Note: I toast my almonds in a 10" saute pan, then fry up my bean thread noodles in the same pan. Then I cook my chicken in that pan. Only have to wash one pan that way :)