Chicken Salad with Tea Vinaigrette
Here a boldly flavored Chinese
Yunnan tea is used in an oil-free dressing to add depth of flavor to this
main dish salad. Water chestnuts add crunch and the ripe pears and dried
currants provide a sweet counterpoint to the smokiness of the chicken.
For a brief moment in late summer or early fall, fresh tiny champagne
grapes are available. They make an elegant touch to this dish, or use
the dried currants as noted. Great for lunch or a light supper.
1 cup/250 milliliters apple juice
1 tablespoon/14 grams Yunnan black tea leaves
1 teaspoon/5 milliliters Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup/120 milliliters buttermilk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Salad
1 pound/500 grams smoked chicken breasts (store-bought
or you can smoke you own)
1 cup/140 grams water chestnuts, well drained and sliced
2 ripe but firm Bosc pears (or other firm variety), peeled, then silvered
1 cup/140 grams dried currents, soaked in hot water or tea for five minutes
and then drained
1 head of butter lettuce, washed and dried well, or 1 small head of Napa
cabbage, thinly sliced
the apple juice to a boil. Add the tea leaves and let steep for about
5 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and place in a bowl. Cool.
Blend the mustard and buttermilk, and then gradually add the cooled apple
juice-infused tea. Add salt and pepper to taste. (A generous amount of
black pepper is a nice added touch.)
Slice the chicken into long thin strips. Combine with the water chestnuts,
pears, and currants. Coat with half of the dressing. Place on a bed of
butter lettuce or shredded Napa cabbage. Pour the remaining dressing over
each salad and serve immediately. Yields 4 portions.
recipe is part of the book Cooking with Tea by Robert Wemischner and Diana
Photography by Sysan Bourgoin
Click here for printable version.