Spicy Thai Minced Chicken Salad With Peanuts and Celery Leaves

Makes 4 appetizer servings

Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder or cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons nam pla (fish sauce)
1 small, hot chile, seeded and minced (or more to taste)
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup smashed roasted peanuts
1/4 cup finely minced celery hearts
1/2 cup firmly packed celery leaves
1/4 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup firmly packed shredded mint leaves
4 leaves green leaf lettuce

Place several inches of oil in a wide pot and heat to 300 degrees. Mince
chicken coarsely. When oil has reached 300 degrees, lower the chicken, all
at once, into the oil. Immediately swirl with a spoon to break up clumps.
Cook until chicken just loses its pink; this may be as little as 10
seconds. Pour chicken immediately into a colander, discarding oil (or
saving for another use). Let chicken drain for a moment. Place chicken
in a mixing bowl. Add the chili powder and mix well to color chicken
evenly. Add the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, minced chile, ginger and
peanuts; toss vigorously to blend. Add celery heart, celery leaves,
cilantro and mint, and toss gently (so as to keep the leaves fluffy).
Place the lettuce leaves on 4 serving plates and top each leaf with a
quarter of the chicken mixture. Serve immediately.

-- From "It's All American Food" by David Rosengarten

Judy Bolton
Resume Writer
[email protected]

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