Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage

August 2, 2007 by · Comments Off on Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage 

Serves 4

Green Meter:

Green Goodness: No added fuel; uses precooked chicken and roasted hazelnuts (try the Ginger Poached Chicken above; roast the nuts anytime your oven’s hot, as described below)
Prep/Cooking Times: 10 minutes total prep
Prime Season: year round
Conveniences: Can be partially made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

The Ginger-Poached Chicken and Broth recipe yields moist, flavorful chicken, perfect for this distinctive chicken salad, but any cooked chicken will do. Napa or Chinese cabbage is sweeter and milder than regular cabbage, and the leaves add a crunchy, frilly contrast to the dish. (To shred the cabbage, stack the leaves and slice into 1/8-inch strips.) Hazelnuts make this a sophisticated dish, with crunchy, toasted flavor.

Roasted Hazelnuts: Roast the nuts ahead of time, whenever you’re already baking something between 350 and 375 degrees F. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet; roast for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once. When the skin crackles, pour them into a clean towel and rub vigorously to remove most of the skin (do this outdoors for less mess). Refrigerate or freeze, up to 3 months, and toss them into salads, pastas, breads, and desserts.

3 cups shredded cooked chicken meat
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 green onions
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces (3 cups packed) finely shredded napa cabbage leaves (about 7 medium leaves)
3/4 cup (2-1/2 ounces) toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix the chicken and vinegar in a bowl, until the vinegar is absorbed. Trim and diagonally slice the green onions (both green and white parts) about 1/4-inch wide. Stir the mayonnaise and hazelnuts into the chicken. (The salad may be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for 1 day before continuing.) Just before serving, mix in 3/4 of the cabbage, most of the green onion (reserve a bit for garnish), and pepper. Spread the remaining cabbage on a serving platter, spoon the salad on top and garnish with green onion and hazelnuts.