Cashew Chicken Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Thursday, August 13, 2015

In March, many members of our families came to meet Fox and attend his baby blessing.  While they were here, my mom asked me to choose a nice place to have lunch with her, my grandparents and my in-laws.

My grandparents are older and dignified, so a food trucks and our regular haunts didn't seem like a good option for this particular gathering.  After much consideration, we decided on Zed's, a beautiful  and delicious restaurant that opens out onto a lovely and lush green space (sadly, it was raining, so we sat inside).

Several of us ordered this fantastic cashew chicken salad off the lunch menu, and I decided to try to recreate it!  The crispy cashew crust is a unique and tasty addition to a solidly delicious salad.

Zed's is one of many fabulous restaurants featured on OpenTable, a website that helps you make reservations for the best places in Austin and other cities around the world.  I love how they have reviews for restaurants, and the menu's are accessible from their website.  It is a wonderful resource for finding great eats from locals.


Cashew Chicken Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette: 

Oven-Fried Cashew Chicken: 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flour
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped cashews
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425°F.  Pour olive oil into a rimmed baking sheet.  Spread around to coat the bottom.  
Put your flour, egg whites and cashews into three bowls.  Season each bowl with salt and pepper. If you are using the parmesan, add it to the bowl with the cashew bits. One at a time, dip the chicken into the flour, carefully shaking off the excess flour, then dip it in the egg whites, then into the cashews and place on the prepared pan.  Bake for 8 minutes then turn the pieces over to bake for another 8 minutes.  When the chicken is beautifully golden brown, it is ready to pull out of the oven.  Serve immediately.  

Salad: 
2 heads of romaine lettuce, or a large spring mix
1 avocado, pit and skin removed and diced
1 ripe tomato, diced
5 slices of cooked bacon (save the fat from cooking for the vinaigrette)
1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Top with cooked chicken. 

Bacon Vinaigrette:
bacon grease from 5 cooked slices of bacon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs honey
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

In the frying pan where you cooked the bacon, combine the remaining grease, the garlic powder, honey, black pepper, dijon mustard, and vinegar and mix until combined and warm.  Pour into a jar and add the olive oil.  Shake to combine. 

Once you have the salad put together, pour the vinaigrette over the top and salt and pepper to taste.  








This recipe and post was created in partnership with OpenTable Austin.  Thank you so much for supporting brands that make this blog possible! 

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