A vibrant slaw made of purple and green cabbage with shredded carrots, spring onions and jalapenos are tossed in a bright teriyaki-orange vinaigrette and topped with blackened chicken to make for a gorgeous late summer dinner that is just as much fun to eat as it is to see. My son loved it and asked to have some for his lunch.
If you are allergic to sesame: replace the 1/2 cup sesame oil with 1/2 cup fragrant olive oil mixed with a Tablespoon of sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter. (Sunflower seed butter often has soy in it, ask if anyone has a soy allergy). And then replace the sesame seed garnish with plain shelled and salted sunflower seeds (make sure you check the ingredients label on this because roasted sunflower seeds are often roasted with allergenic ingredients such as wheat and dairy).
If you are allergic to chicken: Replace with another protein of choice, or omit it entirely as this is very good by itself.
Blackened Chicken with Orange-Jalepeno Coleslaw
For the chicken:
1 2-lb package of skinless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer)
2 Tablespoons of chili powder
1 Tablespoon of powdered garlic
1 teaspoon of ground coriander, cardamom or allspice (one of those will add a touch of sweetness)
1 teaspoon each of ground mustard, ground ginger, onion powder, salt and pepper
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with vegetable oil of choice (make sure the oil is allergen-free) and heat to medium high heat. Then mix the spices on a plate and coat each piece of chicken with the spices. Place the chicken in the hot oil and let cook for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly seared and blackened. Turn the chicken and sear for a minute or two. Add a little water, cover the skillet and let simmer while you are preparing the slaw. A long simmer will thoroughly cook the chicken and if you cook it long enough, it will break down and become “shreddable.” Just make sure you check on it often and add water if needed.
For the coleslaw:
1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced very thin or shredded in a food processor
1/2 head of green cabbage, sliced very thin or shredded in a food processor
~(feel free to try different varieties of cabbage for fun and/or add other greens)~
4 carrots, coarsely grated
4-6 green (aka “spring”) onions, slivered
4 jalepenoes, slivered (Note: Cut around the seeds. The seeds will burn your fingers and will add significant heat to your slaw. I omit the seeds for this reason but you may add a few if you want the heat. Use gloves if you are not adept at avoiding the seeds.)
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cherries, cranberries, mangoes, or apricots) – omit if you don’t like dried fruit in your salads
For the dressing:
1/2 cup (gluten-free) sesame oil or 1/2 cup olive oil mixed with 1 Tablespoon of sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter
1/2 cup gluten-free rice vinegar (both seasoned and unseasoned will work, always check for allergens)
1 Tablespoon of gluten-free tamari (This is important to get gluten-free. Most soy sauces are made from wheat. Gluten-free soy sauces are made from soybeans instead of wheat – always be careful with soy sauce and ask if the people you are serving have a soy or gluten/wheat allergy. If you there are allergies to both soy and wheat, omit the soy sauce and substitute with 1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard)
1 Tablespoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2-3 dashes of Sriracha sauce (optional)
For garnish: 1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (check label for allergens)
Chop and wash your veggies and combine in a large bowl.
Using a jar with a lid, shake the teriyaki-orange vinaigrette until well blended and pour over the coleslaw. Toss the coleslaw in the vinaigrette and serve on plates topped with the warm blackened chicken and garnish with the sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
(Make extra chicken if serving more than 6)