I've had this dish a few times at the Wolfgang Puck Bistro inside Macy's at South Coast Plaza. At Chinois on Main, Puck's restaurant in Santa Monica, it's been on the menu for over 25 years, such is its popularity. It even includes Colman's mustard, which I blogged about yesterday.
Cooking a chicken from scratch might sound a little drastic, but precooked chicken should work in a pinch.
Chinois Chicken Salad
Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entrée
For the Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette:
2tsp Chinese or English mustard (preferably Colman's)
¼ cup wine vinegar
1tsp soy sauce
2tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp peanut oil (add 1tbsp for four servings)
freshly ground pepper
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For the Chicken Salad:
1 3lb chicken, cavity filled with finely diced celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper
2oz salted butter, melted
2 small heads or 1 medium head Napa cabbage
1 cup romaine lettuce, cut into ¼-inch julienne strips
10 snow peas, cut into ¼-inch julienne strips
1tbsp seeds, toasted
1. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients, except peanut oil, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add peanut oil slowly and correct the seasonings.
2. Preheat the oven to 425F.
3. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and baste it with some of the butter. Roast for about 1½ hours, or until just done. (The juices should run clear.) Baste every 15 or 20 minutes with the butter and the drippings.
4. Select 4 to 8 of the best leaves from the Napa cabbage and reserve them. Slice the remaining cabbage into ¼-inch julienne strips.
5. Shred the meat from the breasts and thighs of the chicken.
6. Combine the chicken, cabbage, romaine and snow peas in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat the salad nicely. Serve.