Saigon Chicken Salad

Saigon Chicken Salad

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Ingredients

For chicken:
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, bruised and finely chopped
juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup evoo
kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For salad:
4 small tomatoes, cored and seeded
2 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
1 green papaya, peeled and cored
1 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 lb Asian long beans or green beans, blanched in salted water and cut in 2-inch lengths
2 cups napa cabbage, shredded
1 cup unsalted peanuts, toasted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup celery leaves (yellow inner leaves only), chopped
Nuoc Cham Dressing (see below)
butter lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)

Directions

Combine lemon juice, lemongrass, evoo and 1 tsp salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and put them on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Shred the chicken by hand into small pieces.

Cut the tomatoes, cucumbers, papaya and carrot into thin strips, about 1/4-inch thick and 2-inches long. Put in large mixing bowl. Add long beans, cabbage, peanuts, cilantro and celery leaves. Add shredded chicken and dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.