Female. Lives in United States/Illinois/Chicago, speaks English. My interests are Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking/Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.
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United States, Illinois, Chicago, English, Female, Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking, Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Thai Chicken Salad with Figs

A couple days ago, I bought a darling little basket of fresh figs on a whim. I was at Stanley's, my favorite source for inexpensive produce here in Chicago, when they caught my eye. I didn't know what I'd do with them, but they looked fun and I knew we'd find something interesting.

Win hopped on the web to check out some fig recipes and we both agreed that the California Figs web site had some interesting options. After some discussion, we agreed that the Thai Chicken Salad with Figs recipe was our winner. This recipe calls for dried figs, but we decided that fresh should work just as well, if not better.

Thai Chicken Salad with Figs
Recipe as seen on Californiafigs.com
Serves Six

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup honey
3 teaspoon light soy sauce
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
2 teaspoon fresh gingerroot, very finely minced
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup California dried figs, stems removed, and cut lengthwise into eighths (Note: I used fresh)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
½ small cantaloupe; seeded, pared and cut in julienne strips
1 sweet, red pepper; ribs and seeds removed, cut in julienne strips
1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded, and cut in julienne strips
Assorted mixed salad greens
Mint sprigs for garnish

Combine lime juice, honey, soy sauce, pepper flakes and ginger in medium bowl; mix well. Add chicken, figs, onions and mint; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Stir occasionally. Here is how my salad looked at this first stage before putting it in the refrigerator:

When ready to serve, combine cantaloupe, pepper strips and cucumber with marinated chicken and toss gently but thoroughly. See below for how the dish looked with the addition of these items:

Line serving bowl or salad plates with greens and arrange mixture in center. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired. See the photo at the top of this entry for a look at our plated salad.

This salad is excellent. It's very fresh, light and full of flavor. The citrus, ginger and mint bring out a lot of nuances in the chicken, fruits and vegetables. It's also nice that this dish is rather healthy, and low in fat, sodium and cholesterol.

I commented to Win that this would be a great dish to make for a lunchtime get-together because it can be prepared a bit in advance of guests' arrival and then just plated when ready to serve. It's delicious and makes a pretty presentation, but it's low maintenance enough to allow the host to enjoy his or her guests and not be trapped in the kitchen.