If you were to open my refrigerator, you would see a door filled with hot sauces of every variety from cuisines all over the world. I’m not sure any is as beloved as Sriracha, though. It’s sort of an all-purpose hot sauce—almost like ketchup—that we squirt on just about ev-ery-thing.
Last year we fell in love with a recipe for chicken skewers that are so spicy, your lips will be burning for hours afterwards. My husband and I love, love, love those skewers, but it can be a little too spicy for the rest of the family. So I adapted that recipe a little bit to tame it, and it turns out that the chicken is extra delicious sliced up on top of salad.
The chicken is marinated in a sweet Sriracha sauce and broiled (or grilled) to perfection. It’s juicy and tender, and just spicy enough to give you a little zing without making your eyes water. The dressing is a flavorful, light Asian-inspired vinaigrette that compliments the spicy chicken without overpowering it. While I wouldn’t recommend spicy to everyone, my children, who just so happen to be picky eaters, love these.
If your family isn’t as spice-friendly as mine, feel free to cut down on the Sriracha sauce in this recipe or substitute a milder hot sauce in it’s place. You can also add a little more brown sugar to help tame the heat on these babies. Or, if you’re so inclined, leave out the hot sauce entirely!
Sweet Sriracha Chicken Salad
- Shallow dish
- Baking sheet
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup Sriracha
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 6 about 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 small head of Romaine lettuce washed and dried, cut into thin strips
- 1 seedless cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons flavorless oil like safflower or grapeseed
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Place chicken in a shallow dish or large bowl. Prepare marinade by combining all of the ingredients. Pour over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, brush with oil. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through and the chicken has blackened in areas. Transfer to a plate and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Whisk all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.
- To assemble salads, place a heaping cup of lettuce onto a large plate. Top with the cucumber slices, shredded carrots and green onions. Slice the chicken and place on top of the salad. Top with chopped cashews. Pass the dressing alongside.
Recipe inspired by Bon Appetit’s Sambal Chicken Skewers1