There comes a time when we all try to be good and clear out the fridge or pantry. Sometimes we call it “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe or “fridge clearing” dish. What ever you decide to call it, we’ve all had this focus and ambition to make the most of leftovers. Waste is never our prerogative, so these moments when we attempt to make something edible out of small-batch ingredients can be either rewarding or just “meh”. That’s when it’s time for In-n-Out! Anyone with us!?
A few months we were heading out of town for a convention after two big back to back shoots. We were overloaded with small bits of almost every ingredient under the sun. You should have seen our studio. It was like a rainbow of vegetables all strewn between two refrigerators. In an attempt to polish off all our excess ingredients we called some family over for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. With a collection of hungry brothers, it’s really simple to have a fridge-clearing feast.
It’ll be your favorite Asian chopped chicken salad too. Just make it your own and go to town with it.
Toppled with what ever you want, this Asian chicken salad has all the base ingredients that we all love: grilled chicken breast, pineapple, crunchy lettuce, peanuts and a creamy peanut dressing. We had cucumbers and thought about adding it in, but decided to keep it simple and save the cucumber for another salad. How about some crumbed bacon? chopped boiled egg? chopped ham? tomatoes? chopped apples? avocado? Geez, the list can go on, especially if you haven’t had a fridge-clearing session in a long time.
After the fridge was finally cleared and everyone was fed, it felt so gratifying to make something out of what some would consider, nothing. Even the smallest amounts of ingredients can go a long way if you just become a little creative. And daring.
Do you have any favorite-fridge clearing recipes? Indulge us!
diane and todd
Asian Chopped Chicken Salad Recipe with Peanut Dressing
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 30 min
This chicken salad recipe is so versatile, so have fun with it. You can add cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, apples, chopped boiled egg and even ham! Make it your own. Also, this dressing also makes a great dip. Just make it a little thicker for dips.
For the Salad:
- 1-2 cups of chopped cooked chicken (here's recipe for poached chicken and oven baked chicken breast
- 1 head of chopped crisp lettuce (green leaf, ice berg or romaine)
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- chopped boiled egg, avocado, cucumbers, apples, mango (optional, have fun with it!)
For the Dressing:
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or grape seed oil
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar (use Distilled white vinegar for gluten free)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce (try fish sauce, it tastes so much better!) (use Tamari for gluten free)
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chili garlic hot sauce (optional)
- about 3/4 cup water
- additional water to thin out dressing
- For a better tasting dressing, make it the night before and refrigerate it before eating.
- In large bowl, add peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce , brown sugar, chili garlic hot sauce and water. Whisk and combine ingredients. If the dressing is too thick, add additional water.
- Heat medium sauce pan. Add oil, then garlic and cook garlic till translucent and fragrant. Do not burn garlic.
- Add dressing mixture to the pan with garlic and cook on low heat for about 1 minute.
- Remove dressing from heat and allow to completely cool. After cooling, add additional water to your desired thickness
- In large bowl, combine all chopped salad ingredients. Toss peanut dressing to chopped salad ingredients right before serving.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.