Ok, I confess, I am completely hooked on this salad. I actually have had dreams in which I am eating this salad lately. Crazy? Yes, I know. So, I have set out over the past three weeks and attempted a few “copycat” recipes for Panera’s Thai Chicken Salad and was not quite satisfied with any; one of the most recent attempts, my husband was actually in tears at the dinner table because I added alittle too much spice! Opps! As you can see, I am not a “perfected cook” by any means, just someone who is after “perfect recipes”!
Well, it has arrived! My Make-At-Home Panera’s Thai Chicken Salad, that I think is even better than Panera’s! The main reason is because I LOVE this peanut sauce drizzle and can have as much as I desire at home!
- 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
- 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked or grilled, chopped
- 1 cup of Edamame, Roasted
- 1 Red Pepper, Chopped and Roasted
- 1 Lg. Carrot, Chopped and Roasted
- 1/2 Cup of Crushed Peanuts
- 1 cup of Wonton Strips
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Thai Chili Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Kosher salt to taste
Peanut Sauce Drizzle:
- 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 4 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon Thai Chili Garlic Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup Water
- 3/4 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil (optional, although preferred)
1. Begin by cooking the edamame, carrots, and red pepper in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook and saute until the vegetables are cooked through and lightly roasted. Set aside.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, combine the Thai Vinagerette ingredients, whisk together, and set aside.
3. Next, begin making the Peanut Sauce Drizzle. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chili garlic paste – it should sizzle and bubble when you add it- cook for about 30 seconds.
4. Whisk in the peanut butter and Hoisin sauce, allowing to heat through. (At this point the sauce will look like a dark paste, but don’t stop.) Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the rice wine vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and water until smooth. If you prefer your Peanut Drizzle to be a little less thick add in the 3/4 Tablespoon of sesame oil (optional; although preferred).
5. Finally, build your salad: drop in your romaine lettuce and add the chicken, cashews, pepper, edamame, carrot, and wontons on top. Pour a little of the vinagarette over the salad, and then top with some delicious peanut sauce drizzle.