My husband and I are obsessed with Panera's Asian Sesame Chicken Salad.  Given that we eat it at least once a week, I thought I would try to replicate the salad at home.

The base of the salad was fairly easy to come up with.  However, the dressing was a bit of a challenge.  But, after doing a lot of research/trial and error, I think this is the closest one can get to the original.  My husband said it was "spot on," and I have to agree, it's pretty wonderfully close.
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
For the Salad
2 romaine hearts, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup wonton strips
2 tablespoons sesame seeds 
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon peanut oil
salt and pepper

For the Dressing
1/2 cup of Original Rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil 
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then coat each side of the chicken breasts with sesame seeds.  Be sure to firmly press seeds into the chicken.
2. In a medium skillet, heat peanut oil over high heat.  Add chicken breasts.  Brown from 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium, continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Slice chicken into thin strips. 
4. In a large mixing bowl, add lettuce, cilantro, almonds, wontons and cooked chicken. 
5. In a small pot, boil vinegar and sugar until sugar disolves.  Remove from heat and let cool completely. 
6. Using a hand blender, slowly pour in the sesame oil.  Blend well. 
7. Add dressing to salad as desired.  Toss well. Serve and enjoy!

02/22/2012 09:48

Sounds delicious. I've ordered asian sesame chicken salad so many times at restaurants but have never ventured to make it myself at home.


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