Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Sweet Onion Teriyaki Vinaigrette
November 17, 2017 by Nicole Collins
I'm sad that Farmer's Market Season is just about over.
But, since we're eating green this week, today's salad is the perfect reason to get your Farmer's Market fix for the year before it's too late!
I'm excited to say that this year was the year of Farmer's Markets for me. I had 100% been taking for granted how much fresh food was actually available to me in my city.
Farmer's Markets have always been about the produce, for me; but I truly never realized that the markets have so much more to offer! There's sooooo much talent in this world.
From jam makers, to artists, to jewelry crafters...and on and on! The Farmer's Market has truly become my happy place.
I've always had an interest in Farmer's Markets, but I didn't know there were so many around me. I've read a couple of books that starred a Farmer, so the idea of the market always seemed like fun. I've even found a couple handsome Farmers in my travels, just like in my books, so there's another mark for the pro column!
But, the real kick off to my Market season this year happened in the beginning of the year while I was on vacation in Florida. They're lucky enough to have warm weather which affords them their Farmer's Markets all year round. Sounds wonderful...
This market was such an event. There were food trucks, and samples, and crafters, and food vendors...probably 30-40 tables set up. I fell in love, and I found myself looking in the window of a real estate office shortly after. That market almost made pack of my life and relocate right then and there. And, I'm still dreaming about the most amazing feta that I've ever had in my life, which I found at that market.
When I came home, I couldn't stop thinking about how much fun that market was, and I set out to find out what kind of events were local to me. I found a bunch of really small, but totally great markets in the area. But, I also realized that we have one of the best markets in Maryland less than 30 mins away from me.
You see, I knew this HUGE Farmer's Market was there, but it's in the city. And, I don't venture into the city unless there's a parking garage. I didn't think this place had designated parking, so I always avoided it. But then, a friend drove me down there on my bday, and we learned that there is a parking garage! And, now I can venture to this incredible market on without a chaperone!
It's the little things...
So, today's Teriyaki Chicken Salad is a collection of my bounty from the Baltimore Farmer's Market!
Let's start with our greens. We're using two types of super crunchy greens today: chinese cabbage and kale. I feel like kale is one of those things that's hit or miss with people; so if you're not in to kale, feel free to double the cabbage or to just use another dark leafy green. At the market, I actually bought dinosaur kale (which I had never heard of before), so that's what I picked up. It tastes the same to me; but let me tell you, it's HUGE! And, I love that. And, I loved the chinese cabbage for this salad, because it shreds so nicely. And, it's a little softer, which is great since we're not cooking it first.
The next thing that I got sucked in to at the market was a purple pepper. That's right. A PURPLE PEPPER! It's sooooo pretty! And, I don't think I could've been more surprised when I cut it open and saw it was almost white inside. Purple peppers are certainly not something you can find anywhere, anytime; but, it tastes just like a red pepper. Red peppers are still pretty.
I also added some carrots to this, which anyone who knows me knows that that's enough to make it snow. I DO NOT like carrots. Not one little bit. But, shredded up really fine, I barely noticed it was there. But, I also know that it belonged there. So, carrots made the cut.
In addition to all of that veg, we're adding some broiled teriyaki chicken thighs. YUM! I love broiling the chicken thighs instead of just baking them, because it gives them a little char that's reminiscent of grilling. If you're making this at the start of Farmer's Market season (and not the end like we are now), definitely grill your chicken instead!
Now, every salad needs a dressing. I don't know if you guys are ready for this. But, we're making Sweet Onion Teriyaki Vinaigrette for this one folks. I KNOW!
It's so simple too. Saute up some sweet onions, throw in some teriyaki sauce, joozsh it in the blender, and whisk it with some rice vinegar and chili flakes. DONE!
This salad is sweet and salty and crunchy and healthy...you know I like to have one of everything going on! And better yet, it's a great way to support local small businesses and your local Farmers!
So, get to the market before the frost sets in, but if it's too late, grocery store produce will work too.
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Sweet Onion Teriyaki Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 Print
For the Salad:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup plus ¼ cup teriyaki sauce, divided
3 cups chinese cabbage, shredded
3 cups kale, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 red pepper, chopped
½ cup lightly salted cashew halves
olive oil cooking spray
For the Sweet Onion Teriyaki Vinaigrette:
½ cup sweet onion, minced
1 tbsp canola oil, divided
½ cup teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp red chili flakes
Broil the chicken: Place chicken thighs and 1 cup teriyaki sauce in a ziploc bag. Move the chicken around in the bag to make sure it's coated. Place in the fridge and marinate for 2-4 hours. Preheat oven to broil. Move the top oven rack to 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off the excess marinade. Discard marinade. Arrange in a single layer, and broil for 5 mins. Flip chicken, and broil for 5 more mins. Flip again, and brush with some of the remaining teriyaki sauce. Return to broiler and broil 1 minute. Flip, brush the other side with sauce, and broil 1 final minute until the chicken is cooked through, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. When cool enough to handle, chop in to bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Heat ½ tbsp oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions for 10 mins until soft. Add teriyaki sauce. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. When cool to the touch, add onion mix to a blender or small food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add remaining oil, vinegar, and chili flakes. Whisk to combine.
Assemble the salad: Divide cabbage, kale, carrot, pepper, and cashews between 4 bowls. Top with chicken, evenly divided between the 4 bowls. Top with vinaigrette.
*I love the mix of cabbage and kale; but if kale isn't for you, use all cabbage or swap out the kale for another dark leafy green.
*This is a GREAT make ahead meal. Portion out the salad ingredients in tupperware containers. Portion out the dressing in small containers. Grab, go, and enjoy!
*This could be a really fun project for the grill in the warm weather months. But, the broiler helps us achieve a little of the same char we'd get from the grill during the colder months. It's important that you position your oven rack close to the heating element to achieve this.
*I always line my pans with aluminum foil before cooking anything in the oven so that I don't have to worry about it during clean up time. It's an optional step, but it makes life so much easier.
*I used a cheese grater to shred my carrot. Feel free to cheat and buy pre-shredded carrots.