I’m referring to temperature in the title of this post and not me when the boys are swinging from the rafters, the house is in disarray, and all my best-laid plans for the day have gone haywire. Not that I don’t need a dose of calm now and then. It has been another blazing hot week here, and I’m ready to cool off by heading to the North Pole. Why not? Pay St. Nick a little visit, as the saying goes, “Christmas in July.” Better yet, maybe I should send the two little pigs and the big bad…Just kidding!
Well, my fellow “souper” moms, I had you in mind when I created this recipe – Chicken and Cabbage Slaw. Wait a minute. I always have you in mind! What I mean to say is that this horrible heat inspired me to think about you even more than usual because this dish requires no baking, no cooking (with the exception of poaching the chicken) and therefore, you don’t have to turn the oven on. Whether you have A/C or not, you will remain cool! At least temperature wise that is!
When I began thinking about this recipe, I thought to myself – how can I get a dinner on the table without using the oven or having to fire up the hot grill outside in the wretched heat? I used my “souper” mom brain, and Presto! Chicken and Cabbage Slaw was born. Cabbage, I think, is one of those vegetables that is hard to find an interesting and tasty recipe for, but I have come to really like it, and it is perfect for this dish. Okay, I confess, vegetables aren’t my favorite food group, so I sometimes find it a little difficult to always figure out how to use them in a palatable way for my family and me. This appetizing combo is great for a potluck, family gathering, picnic, or a dinner at home. It is a great make-ahead supper leaving you time to get the kids down from the rafters and bring order to chaos, allowing you to feel super once again!
I am introducing you to a new product with this recipe, Ume Plum Vinegar. It is a specialty red vinegar that you can find at Whole Foods or at the Eden Foods website. The flavor is both fruity and sour, and it is quite salty to the taste, which is the reason why there is no salt added to this recipe. If you decide you do not want to experiment with Ume Plum Vinegar, you can substitute red wine vinegar, but you will probably need to salt the dish according to your liking.
So do you have a go-to dish when the weather is unbearable? I’d love to hear from you.
Chicken and Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head cabbage, red, white or a combo of both, thinly shredded
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 package (about 1 lb) chicken tenders
1 lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup almond slices
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Ume Plum vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add the lemon and chicken tenders. Cook for three minutes then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for fifteen minutes. Remove the chicken tenders and allow to cool for a little bit. Meantime, place the cabbage and onion in a large bowl and toss together. Sprinkle with ground black pepper. Whisk the maple syrup, vinegar, and olive oil together, pour this over the cabbage and onions, and toss to cover completely. Stir every so often during this marinating process.
Slice the cooled chicken into bite-size pieces, add to the cabbage and onions, and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour so the dish has plenty of time to marinate. Right before serving, toast the sesame seeds and almond slices in a shallow skillet (cast iron is best) over a low flame until lightly browned. You will be able to smell the nutty scent of the almonds and seeds, about 5- 10 minutes, and this indicates that they are done. Stir them often, being careful not to burn them. Add these to the chicken and cabbage, and you are ready to serve. Feeds 4-6.