Getting Fresh

Vietnamese Chicken Salad
It's funny how certain events trigger our memories. When it's time to change the clocks and 'spring forward' I feel just like a kid again, when the change meant being able to stay outside and play longer.

Things haven't changed much; I used my extra hour to enjoy a beautiful March afternoon with Mr. B. We took our bikes down to the park and rode around the lake and through the adjoining neighborhoods. It was great seeing all the people out and about, walking and playing, setting up picnics and BBQs. There were Frisbees™ flying and kites aloft and dogs trying to get just a wee bit closer to the ducks and geese. In a nutshell, every living thing had gotten the message--spring has arrived, and while it's still chilly enough to wear a jacket and there's often frost on the grass in the mornings, it won't be long now until we fire up the grill most evenings.

To kick start the grilling season, I made my delicious Vietnamese Chicken Salad. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

6 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded thin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Sriracha

2 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
sliced cucumber
shredded carrots
chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro
chopped basil
lettuce leaves

1. Place pounded chicken thighs into a zip bag.
2. Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice and Sriracha together. Pour over chicken, reserving some on the side to pour over the finished chicken salad.
3. Let chicken marinate for several hours.
4. Heat the grill and cook the chicken until it is caramelized and cooked though.
5. On a plate, put down a few lettuce leaves, or a handful of greens, top with the carrots and the rice, the basil and the cilantro.
6. Top salad with grilled chicken thighs and cucumber; drizzle with reserved sauce. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and an additional handful of chopped basil and cilantro.

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