Applebee's-Style Make-Ahead Asian Chicken Salad
Asian chicken salad recipe inspired by Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
Casey Barber
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Servings:
4

This crispy Asian chicken salad, inspired by Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad, is a great dinner or make-ahead lunch. 

Ingredients

  • Crispy Chicken Tenders

    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • Dressing

    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
    • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar (or soy sauce, if rice vinegar isn't available in your supermarket; use a low-sodium version as the flavor will be saltier and less tangy with soy sauce)
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
    • a splash of toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • Salad Components

    • 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
    • 1 cup bagged coleslaw mix or 1 cup shredded cabbage
    • 1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles
    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preparation

ADVANCE PREP — Up to 3 days ahead

Asian chicken salad recipe inspired by Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad prep Casey Barber

Make the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place a wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt and pepper together in a wide, shallow bowl. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a second shallow bowl.
  3. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then dip to fully coat in the egg mixture. Return the chicken to the flour for a final coat, patting the flour on generously.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until the coating is browned and crunchy, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons oil when you flip the chicken if needed.
  5. Transfer the chicken breasts to the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken will register 165˚F).
  6. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Make the dressing:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice and soy sauce or vinegar together in a small bowl, then whisk in the sugar until dissolved.
  2. Briskly whisk in the oil(s) until the dressing thickens.
Asian chicken salad recipe inspired by Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad Casey Barber

ASSEMBLE AND SERVE

For each serving of salad, toss a large handful of romaine with about 1/4 cup shredded coleslaw. Top with 2 tablespoons chow mein noodles and 1 tablespoon almonds, and 4-5 slices chicken (about half a chicken breast). Drizzle with dressing and serve.

 Want to get your salad ready the night before? Layer the chicken, then almonds, then slaw and romaine in a to-go container. Keep the chow mein noodles and dressing separate until ready to serve so they don't get soggy.