Chinese Chicken Salad=My new BFF

Hey there,
Since yesterday was Thomas’ day off, we decided to get some errands done. We’ve been wanting to find a mirror that would cover the hole (where a window used to be) in the living room, but it’s such a big hole that we needed to find a mirror measuring 62 in. x 29.5 in. While we were at Bed Bath & Beyond last weekend, we found the perfect one! We went back to buy it yesterday armed with coupons (from our awesome moms) and gift cards. It was lots of shenanigans fitting it into Thomas’ Camry (I ended up riding behind him), but we got it done! We hung the mirror last night, and it’s amazing how much it changes the look of the room. Check it out.
 Here’s what the hole looked like before. Creepy, gross, depressing. The window just fell out at some point a few years back, and it would be expensive to replace. Also, if it was still there, our neighbors could see right into our house, so we just decided to cover it up!
 Jack is so vain. He stared at himself in the mirror forever.
 Here’s what it looks like now. Much better! Now I’ll just live in fear of it falling forever (don’t worry, it’s very securely attached).
Today while Thomas was at work, I decided to make an amazing Chinese Chicken Salad that my MIL made a while back and gave me the recipe for. It is so good! I won’t say that it was quick and easy–the whole process took me around 2 hours, maybe because I’m OCD–but it’s really worth it and it makes enough that it will last us a while.
I actually halved the recipe because it makes so much. You’ll see how much I ended up with at the end.
 First, gather your ingredients for the salad itself.
These chicken breasts were really thick, so I pounded them between two pieces of saran wrap before sprinkling them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I put them on a baking sheet covered in foil and baked them at 350F for 35-40 minutes. 
While they were baking, I got alll OCD on the veggies. I didn’t have shredded carrots, so I basically shredded these by hand. I chopped each one like 4 times length wise. JUDGE ME. I also cut up the sugar snap peas, bell pepper, and green onions.
 Since the sugar snap peas are raw, you need to quickly blanch them in boiled and salted water. Only cook the peas (or green beans, same diff) for 3-5 minutes.
Then immediately put them into salted ice water to stop the cooking, and drain them.
Next, prepare the sauce (aka the best part).
 Whisk all the ingredients for the sauce together, and set it aside for just a bit.

Once the chicken is cool enough, shred it using two forks. I used a plastic cutting board so I wouldn’t have to clean the butcher’s block.

I’m really particular about meat, especially chicken. So I spent like 15 minutes shredding this and picking out anything I deemed gross.
SO much chicken. It looks like a lot more when shredded.
Now mix the shredded chicken with the snap peas, bell peppers, and carrots. I mixed them first by hand and then poured the sauce over all of it.
 Then, because you’re a girl and this is what we do, plate up the salad in a big pretty bowl. Even though it’s just you eating it, it makes it taste better.
Sprinkle the green onions and sesame seeds over the whole thing, and it’s done! Then take lots of pictures. We’re having this for dinner, so now I have to wait. 
While I was covering the bowl with foil, I cut myself on the metal foil teeth. That’s right people, I had been using a huge butcher knife for 3 hours cutting tiny carrots in half without a cutting myself, and at the very end I cut myself on the foil box. Because I’m awesome.
Taking a picture of your own (right) hand is an arduous and complicated process.
 But I did it for YOU.
Here’s the recipe for the chicken salad:
Chinese Chicken Salad
INGREDIENTS
6 large chicken breasts
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. green beans, asparagus, or sugar snap peas – ends removed, cut into 1″ to 2″ pieces
2 sweet bell peppers – red, green, yellow, or orange – cored, seeded, and sliced into 1″ to 2″ pieces
1 10-oz. bag shredded carrots, or a couple peeled carrots that are thinly sliced
4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 T. white sesame seeds, toasted

for the dressing:
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 T. dark sesame oil
3 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 T. white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION
First, prepare your chicken. You can either roast or grill it. I roasted it. Either way, start by rubbing some olive oil onto your chicken breasts and sprinkle with lots of salt and pepper. If roasting, place the chicken on a sheet pan covered in foil (easy clean-up!) and place in a 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked. If grilling, place on a medium-high grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is done. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred the chicken by using two forks to pull apart into bite-sized pieces.
If you don’t have some toasted sesame seeds on hand, toast some now. Do this by placing the 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds (2 T. sprinkled over the finished salad, plus 1 T. in the dressing) in a dry saute pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Remove to a plate to cool. 
Combine the shredded chicken, green beans, peppers, and shredded carrots in a large bowl. 
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Gently combine. Sprinkle the green onions and 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds over the top and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Servings: 12
Find this recipe here.
I hope you make and enjoy it! Have an awesome weekend:]

-T, K, J, & C

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