Cracklin' Mandarin Chicken Salad
Summer salad has crispy fried chicken on greens tossed in sweet, spicy vinaigrette topped with sesame wonton crisps, juicy mandarin oranges. Make it!
Lectin Free Gourmet mandarin chicken salad has it all. Crispy fried chicken, savory wonton crisps, juicy sliced mandarin oranges, and YES, those are snow peas from the garden — pressure cooked and submerged in ice water to keep their crunch. Read on for all the details on de-lectinizing snow peas and making this delicious summer salad.
Pressure cooking snow peas zaps the lectins and dropping them in an ice bath preserves their crispy crunch. The recipe below has the complete instructions for this. Snow peas are delicious and nutritious. And there's no reason not to include them in your diet, as long as you prepare them properly.
For the chicken, you can use pasture-raised chicken or a meatless chicken product like Quorn. Pasture-raised chicken has fewer lectins because chickens are allowed to scratch for roots and bugs. Chicken raised this way end up needing less feed. Some, like Pastured Steps Family Farm go so far as to feed their chickens a proprietary lectin free meal of sorghum, millet, flax and other good stuff. If you go the meatless route, be sure to get a compliant product, as many have soy. I actually used Quorn Meatless Pieces to make this salad. Quorn "meat" is made from a mushroom-like mycoprotein called fusarium venenatum. I really like this Plant Paradox compliant product. I keep a bag in the freezer at all times. It's really great for BBQ chicken pizza too!
As you can see, this salad has lots of goodies in it to keep it interesting. The wonton crisps are really fun to make. Just follow the steps and have a good fry oil on hand like pure olive oil or rice bran oil. Both are very stable for frying. You'll use the fry oil for the wonton strips and the chicken.
Are you ready to make LFG cracklin' mandarin chicken salad? Let's go!
(makes 2 big salads)
LFG Mandarin Chicken Salad
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Snow Peas
1 Boneless Pastured Chicken Breast* (cubed)
*or 1 Cup Quorn Meatless Pieces
1/2 Cup Tapioca Starch (divided)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Mandarin Orange Zest
1/3 Cup Coconut La Croix Sparkling Water
2 Giant Handfuls of Organic Mixed Spring Greens
1/4 Cup Blanched Sliced Almonds
1/4 Cup Red Cabbage (grated)
2 Mandarin Oranges (zested, peeled and sliced)
LFG Sesame Wonton Crisps
1/4 C Tapioca Starch
1/8 C Sorghum Flour
1/2 t Black Sesame Seeds
1/2 t White Sesame Seeds
1/8 t Asian Five Spice Powder
1/4 t Cayenne
1/4 t Iodized Salt
1/8 C Coconut Oil
1/2 t Black Sesame Oil
Up to 3 tablespoons Ice Water
1/2 T Coconut Aminos
Rice Bran Oil (for frying)
Spicy Mandarin Orange Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
2 Tablespoons Mandarin Orange Juice
2-4 Drops of Sriracha Sauce
Step 1: Pressure Cook the Snow Peas
Pour 1 cup water into a pressure cooker vessel. Add snow peas. Seal and pressure cooker on high for 4 minutes. Release steam immediately strain. Drop pressure cooked snow peas in an ice bath. Set aside.
Step 2: Make Sesame Wontons
In a food processor with dough blade, add tapioca and sorghum flours, sesame seeds, five spice powder, cayenne, and salt. Pulse once or twice to incorporate. Add coconut and sesame oils. Pulse three times or until you have pea size crumbs. In a pourable measuring cup, mix 1/4 cup water with 1/2 T coconut aminos. Add a few ice cubes.
With processor on, very slowly stream in the ice water mixture. You may not need all of it. Stop adding water when a dough ball forms. Touch the dough. If it's wet and sticky you're done. If it feels dry, add a tiny bit more ice water until the dough ball softens. You want a sticky wet dough. Dump the dough out onto a cutting board. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Cut a 6x6 square of parchment paper and piece of plastic wrap the same size. Heat oil to 310 degrees. And, put a skillet on medium high flame.
Keep a cutting board, sharp knife and some spray oil handy, too. Now, drop a wonton dough portion onto your parchment square, place plastic wrap over the dough. Flatten the dough into a 5-inch round wonton with the bottom of a heavy pan like a Dutch oven. You want the wonton to be about 1/10 inch thick. Peel the plastic sheet off. Spray the hot skillet. Pick up the wonton with the parchment paper and flip, wonton side down, onto the hot frying pan. After 10 seconds you should be able to peel back the parchment easily. Flip the wonton and fry for another 10 seconds until barely set, but not cooked. Lift the wonton and place onto your cutting board. Repeat until all wontons are pan set.
With a sharp knife, cut pan-set wonton into skinny strips. Drop them into the hot oil and fry until crispy golden brown. Drain them onto a paper towel. Set aside. Keep oil on heat for frying the chicken in step 3.
Step 3: Make the Dressing
In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, orange juice, sriracha sauce and salt together. You can add a drop or two of stevia or monk fruit sweetener if you like this dressing sweeter. Cover and chill.
Step 4: Fry the Chicken
Into one small bowl, place 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour. Into a separate small bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, zest, and sparkling water. Whisk until pancake batter consistency. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, dip in the batter, then drop in hot oil. Fry to a golden crispy brown. Drain on paper towel.
Step 5: Assemble Salads
Into a large bowl toss greens and grated red cabbage in chilled dressing. Arrange a mound of dressed greens on two cold salad plates. Spread chilled snow peas onto tossed greens. Set fried chicken on top. Set slice mandarin oranges off center. Sprinkle salads with sliced blanched almonds, and wonton strips.