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Chicken Salad with Grilled Eggplant

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French by design, Chinese by flavor, this salad is a unique dish. Putting the sesame and ginger to the side, this is otherwise very much akin to a “composed salad” (salade compose) where you arrange the ingredients, dress, but don’t toss, along with grilled chicken breast and a vinaigrette on the zesty side. Heat can be turned up or down, as the jalapeño is optional.


For the marinade

  • 4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts, (approx. 8 ounce ea.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggplants (approx. 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese chile paste or ¼ teaspoon cayenne

For the vinaigrette and garnish

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound small cucumbers (peel, slice into ¼ in pieces)
  • ½ cup scallions (sliced thinly)
  • ¾ cup cilantro (use leaves & tender stems, chop roughly)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 jalapeño, green or red (thinly sliced) (optional)
  • Lime wedges

Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
682 calories; 42 grams fat; 44 grams protein;  9 grams saturated fat; 18 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams trans fat;12 grams polyunsaturated fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams dietary fiber; 16 grams sugars; 116 milligrams cholesterol; 2028 milligrams sodium

The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and specified preparation. This should not take the place of a professional nutritionist’s advice.


  1. Remove tenderloins from underside of chicken breast – set aside for a future purpose. Trim breasts if required, and slightly flatten using a meat mallet. Season both sides with salt & pepper before placing in a shallow dish. Retrieve a clean knife & cutting board to peel your eggplant, slice into ½ inch pieces, and season with salt & pepper. In a separate shallow dish, place your eggplant slices.
  2. For the marinade: In a small bowl, stir together ginger, soy sauce, garlic, peanut & sesame oil, rice wine and chile paste. Pour half your marinade over the eggplant, and half over the chicken. Make  sure to turn over to coat well, and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes. This step can be down up to 2 hours in advance (refrigerated), but allow to return to room temp before proceeding to cook.
  3. For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, mustard, sesame & peanut oil, salt and lime juice – set aside for later.
  4. Over medium-high heat, heat up a stovetop grill pan (or if preferred, use a charcoal/gas grill). Grill your eggplant slices until softened & nicely browned, approx. 3 min per side. Remove from heat & hold at room temp. Skin side down, lay the chicken breasts on the grill and allow to cook until nicely browned, approximately 5 minutes. Flip and cook on other side until firm to touch, approx. 2 more minutes. Take the breasts off and place on a platter to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Take your lettuce leaves and line a large platter. Cut the chicken into ¼ in slices and place over the lettuce. The grilled eggplant can be arranged around the platter. Lightly salt the cucumbers, dress with 1 tbsp vinaigrette, and scatter onto the salad. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette equally over the salad. Scatter the cilantro and scallions over the top before sprinkling with sesame seeds. Finish with your optional jalapeño slices & lime wedges as garnish. Serve and enjoy!