Chinese Chicken Salad with Toasted Almonds and Crispy Rice Bowl

Carolynn Carreno’s Chinese Chicken Salad from her new cookbook “Bowls of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole-Grain Meals.” All the components of this recipe can easily be made in advance and then assembled when you’re ready to eat! Perfect for meal prepping lunches too!



To prepare chicken, whisk the egg whites, cornstarch, pepper and salt together in a medium bowl. One at a time, pound the chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper with a meat mallet or the back of a small, heavy skillet until they are an even 1/2 inch thick. Dredge the chicken breasts in the bowl with the cornstarch mixture and turn to coat them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours.

Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Pour enough oil in a large skillet to coat it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it slides like water in the pan and is sizzling hot, but not smoking, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift the chicken breasts out of the cornstarch mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Lay the chicken in the pan and cook until it is golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Resist the temptation to fiddle with the chicken. It will brown better if you leave it alone. Flip the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to medium and cook the breasts on the second side for about 3 minutes, until cooked through. Put the chicken breasts on a plate or cutting board and let them rest before slicing. Slice into 1/2 inch-thick pieces when cool.

To make the salad, arrange the oven racks so one is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Dump the cooked rice onto a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and toss to distribute. Bake the rice until it's crispy, about 30 minutes, stirring it with a spatula once or twice while it cooks so it crisps evenly and doesn't burn. Remove the rice from the oven and dump it out into a large, wide bowl to cool to room temperature.

Add the chicken slices, almonds, clementine segments, scallions and cabbage to the bowl with the cooled rice. Drizzle with the Ginger Vinaigrette and toss up the whole story, ideally with your hands so you can massage the vinaigrette onto the cabbage without smashing it.

For the Vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, sugar, pepper, ginger and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. The vinaigrette will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.