This is an incredibly delicious chicken salad, with a wonderful oriental style dressing and plenty of colour and crunch!
I just wish it photographed as beautifully as it tastes! The flavours are phenomenal! The chicken is moist and tender, having been quickly poached in some stock with a bit of garlic. You allow it to cool in the stock, and so it holds in all that moisture and flavour. You quite simply shred and tear it with a couple of forks when done so that you end up with plenty of texture.
The green beans add plenty of colour and crunch to the dish. They have such a mild flavour that doesn't jar with the dressing. You could also use asparagus if you wanted to be really fancy!
The toasted sesame dressing is just wonderful . . . with the flavors of orange, and garlic, soy, sesame, ginger . . . just a bit of sweet and sour . . . but not so much that it takes over. It's really just a really decent blend of flavors, nothing cloying or overpowering . . .
I have to say however . . . the candied pecans are absolutely stunning in this. I could just sit and eat them all on their own, but don't do that. They add such a wonderful depth of flavor and crunch to the salad. This is the PERFECT salad to serve to the ladies who lunch!
It may look like a lot of work, but trust me, it really isn't, especially if you spread out the steps over a couple of days. The chicken can be poached ahead and the pecans candied. You can even make the dressing ahead of time. Just be sure to give it a good shake prior to using. With all of those steps taken care of ahead of time, all you will need to do on the day is cook the pasta and green beans! Even the so called pasta hating Todd enjoyed this!
*Toasted Sesame Chicken Pasta*Serves 4 generously
For the chicken:
Chicken stock to cover
salt and black pepper to taste
To toast the sesame seeds, place them into a dry skiller which you have heated over medium high heat. Cook and stir for about two minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before using.
To make the dressing combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds.
This is the perfect way to begin August, don't you think??