TND: Dinner – August 27th

October 14, 2013

August 27th

Dinner August 27th
Asian Chicken Salad
Jammy Cornbread

Asian Chicken Salad
(serves 6)

The original recipe calls for segments of actual oranges.  I have an enduring fondness for canned mandarin orange segments, and somehow they seem to go better with this salad than fresh oranges, but if you disagree with me feel free to supreme orange segments for the salad.

This is also kind of a mix and match salad – throw in whatever you’d like.  You could substitute (or add) some shelled edamame for the chicken if you wanted a vegetarian version of this salad.  You could use pineapple instead of oranges.  You could add some water chestnuts, or chopped apples, or radishes for some additional crunch.

I like to serve this as a plated salad – which is why I give measurements below in terms of how much of each ingredient/plate – but you could also toss it all together and arrange it on a large platter to serve family style.  Normally when I do a plated salad I just drizzle the dressing on top, but here I like to toss each salad individually and then place it on the plate and top it with the chicken – the dressing gets distributed much more evenly that way.

salad in making

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½-2 lb chicken breasts, butterflied (about 4-5 oz chicken/plate)
6 cups chopped napa cabbage (1 cup/plate)
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (1 cup/plate)
2 cups red cabbage, thinly shredded (1/3 cup/plate)
Handful of snow peas (eyeball how much/plate)
6 scallions, thinly sliced (1 scallion/plate)
2 red peppers, thinly sliced (eyeball how much/plate)
3 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges packed in pear juice, rinsed & drained (divide evenly between plates)
5 oz (1 cup) roasted peanuts (2 Tbsp/plate)

Whisk together the orange juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar and grated ginger.  Transfer ½ cup of sauce to a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken, reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for about 6-7 minutes/side, turning once.

Add the sesame and vegetable oil to the remaining mixture and whisk to combine.

When the chicken has cooked through, transfer to a cutting board and pull into long shreds.  Bring the sauce in the pan back up to a brisk boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened.  Add 2 Tbsp of the dressing to the sauce pan and whisk to combine.  Return the shredded chicken to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce.

Place all the salad fixings (lettuce, cabbage, etc) in a large bowl (or arrange by plate) and toss with the remaining dressing (if you’re doing it by plate use 1 Tbsp dressing/plate).

Divide the chicken equally between the plates, or arrange on top of the large platter of salad depending on how you’re serving.

* I find that if I am making this for two of us (1/3 of the recipe) that you need to keep an eye on the chicken as it cooks and add a little chicken stock to create a sauce – I think that little chicken just doesn’t give off enough liquid as it cooks to self-lubricate, but if you’re making the full recipe this won’t be a problem.

Jammy Cornbread
(serves 6-8)

I don’t know that this cornbread particularly goes with the Asian inspired salad that was the main course with Dinner, but I’ve been wanting to make it since I saw the inspiration for this recipe in Bon Appetit in March.

The Bon Appetit recipe called for cooking the corn bread in a dutch oven (also 12 Tbsp of butter which seemed excessive to me for cornbread).  When I was noodling around the internet I came across someone who’d played around with the recipe, adding goat cheese, fresh corn, and rosemary, but also reducing the amount of butter and soaking the cornmeal in buttermilk.  I approved of the less butter idea, and was intrigued by the overnight buttermilk soak for the cornmeal, but didn’t want the goat cheese or corn kernels (the rosemary actually sounds good, but I thought it might fight with the flavors in the salad – but, thought for a future time).  This is a combination of those two recipes.

Soaking the cornmeal gives this cornbread an incredibly creamy, almost pudding-y texture.  There is no hint of gritty corn left.  I thought that worked really nicely for this recipe – although, I’ll confess that I also like a good gritty barely sweetened cornbread.  My mother thought otherwise and found soaking the cornmeal made the cornbread too dense and heavy for her taste, so your mileage will vary.

In the picture in Bon Appetit the jam has soaked into the cornbread crust creating pockets of jam.  I don’t know if I baked mine too long at first and the crust had set up too much, but my jam more or less just spread across the top of the cornbread in a sweet layer.  This was excellent, but didn’t look like the picture in the magazine.

You can use whatever jam you like best.  I used peach jam because peaches are in season here, and there are some people who come to Dinner who don’t like figs (strange strange people).  I think it would be yummy to mix some finely minced herb into the jam – rosemary with peach jam, or thyme with fig jam, or basil with a strawberry jam, etc.

cornbread before & after

1 cup (6 oz) cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
1 ¾ cups (8 oz) all purpose flour
1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 Tbsp melted butter, divided
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup good jam (peach, fig, whatever floats your boat)
(optional – 1 tsp finely minced herb of choice – see note above)

The night before you want to bake the cornbread, whisk the cornmeal and buttermilk together.  Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425.  Place a 12” cast iron skillet (or 9×13 metal pan) in the oven to heat.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, honey and sugar.

Add the egg mixture and cornmeal/buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Carefully remove the now very hot pan from the oven and add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.  Swirl the pan to make sure that the butter coats the bottom & sides of the pan evenly and then return to the oven for about 2 minutes (being sure not to burn the butter).  Pour the cornbread batter into the pan – it will sizzle and puff up – and bake for about 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and dollop/spread the jam all over the surface.  Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm.  Butter is highly unnecessary, but if you choose to smear a little on your slice I won’t judge, and you won’t regret it.



  1. […] Recipes can be found here […]

  2. […] Recipe previously given:  Dinner August 27th […]

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