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02/07/2017

~ Chilled Asian Chicken, Broccoli & Lo Mein Salad ~

IMG_5692What do Italian-American spaghetti and Chinese lo mein have in common?  When you have a craving for a bowl full of noodles, you want them ASAP.  Now.  Immediately.  In Chinese, "lo mein" literally means "tossed noodles" and it implies a method of cooking in which cooked wheat noodles get tossed into almost any type of stir-fry at the end of the cooking process.  As a result, the noodles absorb some sauce and stay soft while the other previously-cooked ingredients (meat, poultry, seafood and/or vegetables) get distributed evenly throughout.

This recipe is based on the same lo mein principle, except, it's served cold.

IMG_5693Lo Mein.  Like spaghetti, I want it when I want it.  ASAP!

No pretense here.  They day I came across store-bought "broccoli cole slaw mix" (cole slaw mix made with crunchy green broccoli stems instead of green cabbage), my mind immediately raced to the flavors of soy sauce and sesame oil.  Why?  Broccoli is classic Asian.  There's more.  I didn't have to experiment with the perfect dressing for it -- I'd already come up with one.  After a quick mix of the pre-shredded store-bought raw slaw vegetables and my honey-sesame dressing, Asian slaw perfection was revealed.  The brand I use is organic, and, contains just three crunchy ingredients:  broccoli, carrots and red cabbage. It truly is a high-quality time-saving mixture that any busy cook can and should appreciate.  The addition of cooked and diced chicken was a no-brainer, and, it revealed Asian chicken and broccoli slaw perfection. The addition of cooked lo mein noodles (spaghetti can be substituted) was quick to follow, which turned my Asian side-dish slaw into a main-dish noodle salad full of crunchy vegetables.

Honey-Sesame Dressing + Broccoli Slaw + Cooked Chicken & Noodles.

IMG_09781/4  cup each: vegetable oil and white rice vinegar

1  tablespoon each: sesame oil and Thai seasoning soy sauce

2  tablespoons honey

1, 12-ounce bag store-bought broccoli cole slaw

IMG_0977Step 1.  In a measuring container w/a tight fitting lid, combine all the liquid ingredients.  Shake vigorously.

IMG_0986IMG_0982

Step 2. Place the broccoli cole slaw in a medium bowl and add all of the dressing.  Give it a thorough stir.

Note:  This recipe yields 3/4 cup of salad dressing and 4 cups of my basic Asian broccoli slaw. 

Step 3.  To turn it into my chicken-broccoli slaw, toss in:

2 generous cups bite-sized diced or pulled, IMG_5598roasted chicken

1 cup thinly-sliced green onion

IMG_5602Place the chicken-broccoli slaw in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (or overnight will work too), stopping to toss it about every 30-35 minutes in the beginning so the slaw gets to absorb the dressing equally.  The new yield will be a generous 6 cups of my Asian chicken-broccoli slaw.

~ Step 4.  To turn it into Asian chicken, broccoli & lo mein noodle salad, (now it will be a main-dish salad rather than a side-dish slaw), you'll need 8  ounces lo mein noodles, or spaghetti*.  

IMG_3870IMG_3887IMG_3884IMG_3889About 30-60 minutes before you plan to serve the salad, cook the lo-mein as directed, drain them into a colander and rinse them under cold running water until the lo mein is as cold as the water.  For a moment or two, give the colander several vigorous shakes to remove excess water.

*Note:  While spaghetti may be substituted for lo-mein noodles without any compromise in taste or texture, be aware that lo-mein noodles cook to al dente in a short 3-4 minutes  and  spaghetti will take a bit longer, 10-11 minutes.  Be sure not to overcook either one.  

IMG_5660 IMG_5663 IMG_5666 IMG_5668~Step 5.  To "dry" and season the noodles, place them on a large, cotton flour-sack-type towel, gather up the sides, and toss them around to blot up even more water.  Transfer noodles to a large bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or a bit more, to taste.  Using two large forks or spoons, toss, like you would a salad, until noodles are coated in the flavorful, salty soy sauce.

IMG_5671 IMG_5673~ Step 6.  Add all of the Asian chicken-broccoli slaw and toss it into the noodles, until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.  Serve the noodle salad immediately or chill for 1-2 hours prior to briefly retossing and serving chilled.  

Yummy -- This is one delish cold noodle dish:

IMG_5697Chilled Asian Chicken, Broccoli & Lo Mein Salad:  Recipe Yields 4-6 servings.

Special Equipment List:  1-2-cup measuring container w/tight fitting lid & pourer top; cutting board; chef's knife; 8-quart stockpot; colander; 100% cotton flour-sack-type towel; salad servers or two large fork or spoons  

IMG_8322Cook's Note:    Skip the store-bought rotisserie chicken.  Roast two chickens in two hours.  Yep that's what I said, and, they come out moist and juicy with crispy skin every time.  ~ This Womans's Way to Roast the Perfect Chicken + My Stressfree "Carving for Dummies" Methodology ~ can be found in Categories 3, 15, 19 or 20.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)

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