So much yum, (sadly) only one tongue.
Can we just take a moment of silence for the month of October? WHERE did it go? That ghost of a month has vanished and here we are six days into November with an overflow of holiday shopping gift guides, red Starbucks cups and Mariah Carey in the background of every. single. commercial. I mean I'm not mad at it... I'm just baffled at how on earth we got here. It's like I blinked one tiny autumn blink and snowballed myself into the holiday season. I guess if you can't beat em, join em. I'll pour a little out for the Pumpkin Spice Latte that got overshadowed by the Peppermint Mochas of the world and move on. I'll be fine.
You know what else is fine?? Besides a lame segue, this salad!!! It's FYNEEE! I love that we're calling it a salad because it's on a bed of lettuce and has veggies... but warm rice! warm spicy sweet chicken! gooey ooey caramelized onions drizzled with balsamic reduction! hubba hubba... it's hot in here!
This is one of those salads that you can totally serve to your "I don't eat just a salad for dinner" S.O. because there's so much scrumptiousness and different textures that I promise you/he/she will not feel like a bunny chewin' on greens. Instead, imagine a warm, healthy hypothetical hug. This... this is what you can expect.
I love butter lettuce (97% because of the name) - it's so light and because of its texture, needs hardly any dressing to soften its leaves. Instead, I tossed some diced avocado, cherry tomatoes and hearts of palm in a simple vinaigrette and topped the leaves to prevent any wilting. I used a jasmine rice but you could easily replace with basmati rice, brown rice, even rice pilaf -- just be sure to check each rice's own set of ingredients for prep. The quick-marinated chicken cooks quickly in a saute pan, and then the remaining marinade is reduced to make a thick, sweet and salty reduction. Two pans, two plates, one love. Enjoy!
Warm Soy Sriracha Chicken and Rice Salad
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 35 mins | Serves 2+
inspired by La Duni Dallas' Rice Salad with Crispy Pork
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
- 2-3 tbs. sriracha
- 1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce
- 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup jasmine rice
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 12-16 butter or Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and torn
- 3 hearts of palm, cut into 1/4" thick rounds
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup Wesson Best Blend oil (or olive/grapeseed oil)
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Marinate the chicken: Take your two chicken breasts and make sure any extra fat/loose pieces are trimmed off. Cut into strips and then dice into 1" cubes. Place into a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. To the bowl, add the sriracha, soy/tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic. cover with cellophane and place in fridge for at least 10 mins.
- Make your rice: In a small saucepan, bring chicken broth, 1 tsp. of olive oil and rice to a boil. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt. Lower heat to simmer and cover with lid. Set timer for 15 minutes and let steam. After 15 mins stir with a fork, remove from heat, place lid back on and let steam for another 10 minutes or until liquid has absorbed and rice is soft.
- Caramelize the onions: In a medium non-stick skillet, warm 1 tbs. olive oil. Place sliced onions into pan and toss to coat. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until translucent. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and remove from pan. Set aside.
- Marinate veggies: In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing excluding the oil. Slowly add in oil while whisking. To the same bowl, combine slices of hearts of palm, diced avocado and cherry tomatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the chicken: In the same skillet used to caramelize onions, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. Using tongs, take chicken out of marinade and let drip before placing into hot skillet. Add all chicken pieces and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once chicken has cooked (about 5-6 mins), remove from pan using a slotted spoon and place aside on plate. Pour remaining marinade into the warm pan and bring to a small boil, whisking to combine. Lower heat and let cook until sauce thickens and reduces, about 10 minutes.
- To assemble the salad: Place butter leaves down onto place. Place a scoop of rice in the center of the leaves and layer the marinated veggies over each side. Top rice pile with chicken, then caramelized onions, and drizzle balsamic reduction over top. Enjoy!