A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…

New Fandangled Chicken Salad


A while back I tried to make Tien’s Malaysian Chicken Satay. I went on a mission to find whatever ingredients I could and came up short of the white pepper (which is OK because white pepper taste wise is the same as black pepper, just less appealing esthetically). I think that this may have been a bit of a doomed venture from the beginning. I just haven’t had much luck with cooking Thai or Malaysian food. Try as I might I could not make a dent in that galanghal, I grated with a Microplane, I threw it in the Cuisinart, I offered it money. Nothing doing. That mini tree stump would not budge. I waved my white flag in utter surrender and defeat. I moved on to the lemongrass. I found the smell enchanting, as I closed my eyes and whiffed away, almost forgetting that I had some chicken to take care of. Coming back to reality I realized that stalk was going to be hard to break. I tried to recall Ming Tsai’s advice onΒ  how to use it, but aside from the stalk being hard and you trying to peel it away, I couldn’t recall anything. I must have looked like some sort of Cro-Magnon nut bar trying desperately to hack away at that stalk. I then tried a mortar and pestle, again with the Cuisinart (I swear it must have been rolling it’s eyes at me by then), lastly I fruitless tried banging away with this rock, yup I was a freakshow. Additionally I realized that I had not properly refrigerated my soy sauce and it effectively had gone bad. All was not well in Whoville.

But I moved forward I used whatever ingredients I could salvage to make what resembled very little of Miss Tien’s Malaysian Chicken Satay. Twas a sad sad chicken indeed. It didn’t have any of the flavor I was looking for. Undaunted by the first attempt I sallied forth with pork the next day. I used the Thai Spice blend from World Market (which includes: sesame seeds, paprika, coriander, garlic, onion cilantro leaf, basil red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg natural shrimp flavor and lemon oil), threw in some extra garlic, some cumin, Lawry’s salt, black pepper and a little bit of salt. All of the spices were added to some ketchup, soy sauce and a bit of honey. I then broiled it, It was different, actually not so bad, but not quite right yet. So I persisted. I had a chicken breast and was going to make a salad to throw some chicken on top. I thought, let’s cook this bad boy Southeast Asian style. On the chicken I put a dash of Lawry’s Salt, a dash of sea salt, garlic powder, the Thai spice blend, cumin, soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil (it was pretty well coated with the spice blend. I then put it in my little oven uncovered for about 20 minutes at 375 degree Fahrenheit. My chicken was moist and tasty, I think it would be OK to let the seasons marinate for a bit. I dished out some greens added some corn and black bean and put slices of the chicken on top along with my salad dressing.

I’ve done this a few times, various ingredients in the salad and various dressing. It’s super yummy. I guess the moral of the story is to keep trying and you’ll figure out your way through something. Odds are your outcome won’t be the same as someone else, but it can still be good and quite satisfying. Thanks Tien for the starting point.

**Oh and I would have put in a picture, but the salad always seems to be gone by the time I get the camera. πŸ˜€

20 thoughts on “New Fandangled Chicken Salad

  1. Mmm, sounds delicious and I’m glad you were eventually able to figure out a way to get a tasty chicken. Lawry’s salt is always delicious and I bet this must have tasted great on a salad. Looking forward to pictures for next time. πŸ™‚

    • I know, Lawry’s salt can make anything tasty. I wonder if it’s bad for you, it’s that good. I think the best way to remember the picture is to make the salad with the express purpose of taking the picture.

  2. Kudos on the effort and for not giving up Danielle! And you are hilarious haha! Awwww…..no pictures?? Take a snap next time, the chicken sounds very flavourful!
    Did you use fresh lemongrass? I simply chopped them into pieces and blended them. Same with the galanghal, I peel it, slice it roughly then blend.

    • I did get a fresh one from the market. That thing was so fibrous. I wonder if it was old or something. Maybe I should get a lemongrass plant. I think they have them for sale. I’m really getting into this gardening thing. Let’s hope they grow.

  3. P.S. What’s Lawry’s salt?

    • Oh Lawry’s salt is this seasoning salt they sell in the U.S. I don’t know if they sell it out of the country. For some reason I would think so, but you know I am not sure about that. You can put it on a lot of things, and I don’t use it a lot, but for some reason the combo just worked.

  4. The French Sole ballerinas are my favourites too, I’ve yet to try Repettos but my Lanvin ballet pumps rip my heels to shreds.

    • I have had so many shoes that were so beautiful and so painful. I just wish they would make them comfy and cute. I’ve been wearing ballet flats a lot too. I’m in love with my Vera Wangs.

  5. Oh and I have a girl crush on Lisa Eldridge!

  6. Haha love you scooped it up too fast to take a pic, a girl after my own heart πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve been meaning to test out Tien’s recipe! Authentic Satay….mmmm!

    • I think it’s doable, I think I would have to try it again and whack away at that galangal.

      • Haha…! Maybe you girls can try out pickled galanghal in jars. It’s a Thai thing, perhaps that would make your job way easier because its peeled and all. The store owner told me it will give the same results, just that its not fresh and pickled in brine. πŸ™‚

      • What, they sell it pickled. Oh I’ve got to hunt that down. Oh but wouldn’t the pickled part make it taste sour. That sounds sort of funny.

  8. Oh it should be fine because its pickled in brine, not vinegar πŸ™‚

    • Oh, that sounds good, I wonder if I can find it in the states. Is there a specific name for it?

      • Nope, don’t think so. Just glass jars with pieces of peeled white galanghal flesh swimming. Double check to see its really in brine, because I am not sure if they have other kinds…:)

      • Thanks Tien, I’ll make sure that it’s brine (i.e. salt solution) rather than vinegar (because that’s not a good mistake to make)

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