Thai Mango Chicken Salad

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Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • One pack of chicken breasts
    • Monterey chicken seasoning
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Thai Peanut Dressing
    • 1 cup light coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 2 tsp red curry paste
    • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 - 1 tsp sambal oelek
    • 1 tsp corn starch
    • Couple pinches of kosher salt to finish
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mango chunks, diced
  • Red pepper strips
  • Rice noodles
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Cole slaw mix
  • Cucumber strips
Written Method:
Step-by-Step Photos:
Here's the plan of attack.  Get the chicken marinating in all this goodness.  Make the dressing.  Grill the chicken.  Make the salad.  Bam!  

I.  Marinate the chicken.
This is nothing more complicated than 1 - season, and 2 - mix.  The lime juice and coconut milk with help tenderize the chicken while it marinates and we make the dressing.  Using the Monterey chicken seasoning lets us get away with using only one seasoning rather than several (a real time saver here).

If you can't find ginger paste, use finely chopped, peeled ginger.  

II.  The Dressing. 
All we do here is mix together, bring to a boil and reduce until thickened a bit.  Then let it cool. 

Cook until the dressing has reduced (observe the level on the side of the pot) and thickened a bit. Tasted the sauce and see if it tastes "flat."  If so, add a couple pinches of kosher salt to finish.  Set aside to cool.

III.  Grill the Chicken.  
You can obviously do this on your outside grill, but it works equally well on the stovetop.  

Make sure your pan is really nice and hot.  When you put the chicken down, you should be able to hear them!  Also, once you put them down, leave them alone!  They will naturally release from the pan when they are ready.  If they are still "sticking" to the pan, they are NOT ready to be turned.  

Grill on both sides until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.  But please do not overcook them.  We want nice, juicy chicken.  Dry chicken is not yummy!  Set aside and allow them to rest without cutting them for a few minutes.   You can be cutting your veggies or something.  

**Salad/Skewer Diversion**
Okay, so if you have non-salad eaters at your place, I did mention that you might consider using this recipe for skewers with a peanut sauce.  
IV.  Salad Assembly
Nothing but putting it all together.  No right or wrong way.  Want more or less of something?  Want a different thing?  It's your call.  It's your meal.  

I started with a bed of Romaine and added a nice handful of crunchy coleslaw blend.  The one with the purple cabbage and carrots.  I love lots of color in my salads.  

Not that my chicken has had time to rest, I cut a chicken breast into pretty strips.   

I added the chicken strips to the salad.  

Add a handful of sweet, ripe mango chunks. 

Add some sweet red pepper strips. 

For fun, I added a few rice noodles.   

Now a few chopped peanuts.  It wouldn't be Thai without peanuts. 

Some cool crisp cucumber strips. 

Now when ready to serve, drizzle on some of your cooled peanut dressing. 

Here we have a salad that is bright and exciting with a balance of flavors, textures and hopefully hits all the different parts of your palate!

Okay, and for real... share with someone!  LOL!!!