To julienne the romaine, roll the lettuce into tubes and slice into 1/4-inch strips.
Shred the meat from the chicken breasts and thighs. Fingers are the best tool.
Make the shredded chicken pieces roughly the same size.
Toast the sesame seeds in a sauté pan. Watch them carefully to avoid burning and remove them quickly from the hot pan.
Chinois Chicken Salad
Serves 4 appetizer or 2 entrée salads
This salad has been one of our most popular dishes at Chinois since we opened. It makes a perfect lunch salad or an appetizer with dinner. The dressing is one of my favorites and you'll find it useful with any Asian-inspired dish.
Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons dry Chinese or English (Coleman's) mustard
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons light sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoons peanut oil
Freshly ground black pepper
One 3 pound chicken, cavity filled with finely diced celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 small heads, or 1 medium head Napa cabbage
1 cup romaine lettuce, cut into 1/4-inch julienne strips
10 snow peas, cut into 1/4-inch julienne strips
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Prepare the vinaigrette. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients, except peanut oil, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add peanut oil slowly and correct the seasonings.
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and baste it with some of the butter. Roast for about 1-1/2 hours, or until just done. (The juices should run clear.) Baste every 15 or 20 minutes with the butter and the drippings.
Select 4 to 8 nice looking leaves from the Napa cabbage and reserve them. Slice the remaining cabbage into 1/4-inch julienne strips.
Shred the meat from the breasts and thighs of the chicken. (Use the remaining meat and the carcass for chicken stock.)
Combine the chicken, cabbage, romaine and snow peas in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat the salad nicely.
Arrange the reserved Napa cabbage leaves around the edge of a large serving plate. Mound the salad in the center and sprinkle it with the sesame seeds.
If you haven’t tried Japanese rice wine or sake then this is the perfect time to ask your wine merchant for a recommendation. Serve it either hot or cold in tiny Japanese sake cups.