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Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

by The Devil Wears Salad

No boring Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with spicy, tangy sriracha aioli all balanced with sweet, crunchy and wholesome vegetables. This is a healthy and delicious meal in one.

Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

No Boring Chicken Salad

When I think of chicken salad, I usually associate it with boring. No idea why, but it doesn’t make my taste buds jump for joy. So to dial-up flavours, I’ve added a simple lemon garlic marinade for the pan seared chicken breast, fresh crispy gem lettuce, charred vegetables and spicy sriracha aioli. A gem lettuce and chicken salad recipe easy to follow that delivers flavour in abundance.

For more “no boring chicken salads here”, try out our Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Tarragon Mustard Chicken and Gochujang Chicken Salad with Noodles and Tofu too!

What is Sriracha?

This hot chilli sauce, Sriracha, is a staple in our house. Don’t think we ever not have Sriracha.

So what is Sriracha? Sriracha is a type of hot sauce made primarily from chilli paste, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It’s a slightly thick concoction that is similar to ketchup.

The origins of Sriracha are not clear as there are varying reports on who actually created the spicy sauce recipe, but it did come out of a town called Si Racha, 120 km southeast of Bangkok, Thailand. It was interesting to find that out! I didn’t realise the name Sriracha came from the town.

However, Sriracha gained global recognition through the version made by Huy Fong Foods based in California. Started from humble beginnings by David Tran, a Vietnamese-Chinese refugee in LA, Huy Fong Foods now produces over 3,000 bottles every hour, 24 hours a day, six days a week – that’s 20 million bottles a year.

Distributed to nearly every corner of the globe and used by all the celebrity chefs, this Rooster brand Sriracha is the most famous one you would find. When we were last in California, I really wanted to do a Huy Fong factory tour! But alas our timing was a bit off, so next time it will have to go on my list of things to do!

Sriracha Aioli

What Goes Well With Sriracha?

We love the spicy yet slightly tangy flavours of Sriracha. We literally squirt it on everything!

Sriracha is the classic dipping sauce for Vietnamese pho. Also, perfect to spice it up on fried noodles. We also love to drizzle Sriracha on fried eggs with steamed rice. For some reason, the tangy sauce works magic with a runny yolk. And if you want to add some kick to a tomato-based stew or soup, give Sriracha a try.

Pulled pork baos are lost without a Sriracha dressing, and I believe Sriracha has been added to desserts as well! So what goes well with Sriracha? Everything we say!

What Is The Difference Between Aioli vs Mayo?

Rather than just squirting Sriracha on the pan seared chicken in this gluten free salad recipe, I decided to create a spicy aioli to add creaminess and depth.

Well, what is the difference between aioli vs mayo? Is aioli a fancy mayo? They do look pretty much the same.

Technically, aioli is an emulsion of a whole lot of crushed garlic and olive oil. That’s it. Nothing else. That’s the traditional French version. However, over the years, aioli has evolved into more of a creamier version.

Modern-day aioli would generally be referring to mayonnaise base flavoured with a generous amount of garlic. The cheat’s version of aioli is delicious and adds a lot of oomph to a dish without being OTT with the garlic.

Why I love Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

I love creating salads that can also be a meal in one. Some people feel salads are not substantial enough and are bland. This flavoursome salad recipe is neither one of those.

Lemon garlic pan seared chicken breast works a treat with the Sriracha aioli. Tangy, garlicky and loads of flavour. The crisp gem lettuce with radish and tomato adds freshness plus the balance of sweet charred vegetables, this is a healthy chicken salad for lunch or dinner.

I feel this chicken salad recipe will be a great lunch meal prep for the week. Pan seared chicken will keep in the fridge for a few days and just needs to be lightly reheated to be served. Good option to try for meal prepping.

How to Make Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

How to Pan Fry Chicken Breast

To make it easier to cook, slice the chicken breast in half through the middle. To do this, place the chicken breast flat on the chopping board. Using a sharp knife, start at the thicker side of the breast and slice through the middle of the chicken breast horizontally. Be careful with the knife and not to push too fast. With 2 pieces of chicken breast, you now have 4 thinner slices.

Marinate chicken breast with olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Place two slices of chicken breasts at a time and pan sear for 4-5 minutes on one side or until golden brown and flip to cook the other side. This will take another 4-5 minutes. Cook time may vary depending on the size of your chicken breast, so do check to make sure the meat is well cooked through. Remove from heat.

Let chicken breast cool and then slice pan seared chicken breast on a slight angle approximately 1.5cm thick slices. Set aside for assembly.

Pan seared chicken breast sliced

How to Prepare the Salad

For the broccolini and baby peppers, I charred them on the grill pan. You can also roast them in the oven. Alternatively, you can also blanch the broccolini, but I prefer the delicious charred flavours when you grill them.

Wash broccolini and baby peppers. Pat dry.

Drizzle vegetables with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place broccolini directly on the grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes, occasionally turning until they are lightly charred and tender. Remove from heat.

Repeat the process with baby peppers. They may take a little longer to cook approximately 8 minutes. Just make sure they are tender and charred. Remove from heat.

Wash and cut gem lettuce into halves or quarters depending on the size of your lettuce.

Wash and cut cherry tomatoes into half.

Wash, trim and cut radishes into quarters.

Gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broccolini

How to Make Sriracha Aioli

A spicy salad dressing, sriracha aioli is great for other dishes as a dipping sauce such as fish and chips, grilled calamari or add to flaked tuna for a flavourful sushi filling.

As much as I love to make homemade aioli, I’m not going to pretend I know how. This Sriracha aioli recipe uses store-bought mayonnaise as a base. Super easy and tastes delicious.

Is there a Sriracha substitute? In this recipe, I would try to avoid a Sriracha substitute. You can easily purchase it at any large supermarket, and you will not regret having it in your pantry. If really desperate, you could try tabasco as a sriracha substitute for the heat, but there will be less garlic flavour. Alternatively, you could substitute Sriracha for sambal oelek in other recipes which also has a spicy, garlicky profile.

Peel and finely mince 2 cloves of garlic.

In a small bowl, add crushed garlic, mayonnaise, Sriracha and lemon juice. Whisk together until well combined.

If you prefer less spice in the Sriracha dressing, reduce the Sriracha by ½ tablespoon and then adjust as you go. I find there is a delay in tasting the heat of Sriracha in the aioli, so be careful and wait a few seconds before adding more!

How to Assemble the Salad

Using a large serving plate, place the grilled broccolini and gem lettuce down on the one side. Then place sliced chicken breast on the other half.

Then scatter charred baby peppers, cherry tomatoes and cut radishes over the broccolini and gem lettuce.

Sprinkle with pepitas and to serve, drizzle sriracha aioli over pan fried chicken breast.

This delicious chicken salad can be served individually as a complete meal. Divide ingredients into 4 equal portions. A great lunch meal or weekday dinner with friends. Plus you can definitely switch the vegetables listed in this salad for what is in season or your favourites. There is no strict rule for this salad!

And if you need to cater for larger crowds, you can serve this salad with whole barbequed lemon and garlic chicken. That’s what we did for dinner one night.

Lemon garlic pan seared chicken breast works a treat with the Sriracha aioli. Tangy, garlicky and loads of flavour. All balanced with a combination of sweet, crunchy and wholesome vegetables. This simple to prepare gem lettuce and chicken salad will be a hit.

That’s all!


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Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli


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Gem Lettuce and Chicken Salad with Sriracha Aioli
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

No boring Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with spicy, tangy sriracha aioli all balanced with sweet, crunchy and wholesome vegetables. This is a healthy and delicious meal in one.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: International
Keyword: Budget, Cooked Salad, Easy, Spring Salad, Summer Salad
Dietary: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free
Food Group: Meat, Seeds, Vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Sammy Eng

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 1⅓ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 2 bunch broccolini
  • 8 baby peppers
  • 4 gem lettuce, small
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch radish
  • 50 g pepitas
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Dressing

Instructions

Chicken

  • Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breast into half. Start at the thicker side of the breast and slice through the middle of the chicken breast horizontally. With 2 pieces of chicken breast, you now have 4 thinner slices.
    Marinate chicken breast with olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.
    Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Place two slices of chicken breasts at a time and pan sear for 4-5 minutes on one side or until golden brown and flip to cook the other side. This will take another 4-5 minutes.
    Let chicken breast cool and then slice pan seared chicken breast on a slight angle approximately 1.5cm thick slices. Set aside for assembly.

Salad

  • Wash broccolini and baby peppers. Pat dry.
    Drizzle vegetables with a ⅓ tbsp (1 tsp) olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    Heat grill pan over medium heat.
    Place broccolini directly on the grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes, occasionally turning until they are lightly charred and tender. Remove from heat.
    Repeat the process with baby peppers. They may take a little longer to cook approximately 8 minutes. Just make sure they are tender and charred. Remove from heat.
  • Wash and cut gem lettuce into halves or quarters depending on the size of your lettuce.
  • Wash and cut cherry tomatoes into half.
  • Wash, trim and cut radishes into quarters.

Salad Dressing

  • Peel and finely mince 2 cloves of garlic.
  • In a small bowl, add crushed garlic, mayonnaise, Sriracha and lemon juice.
  • Whisk together until well combined.

Assembly

  • Using a large serving plate, place the grilled broccolini and gem lettuce down on the one side.
  • Place sliced chicken breast on the other half.
  • Scatter charred baby peppers, cherry tomatoes and cut radishes over the broccolini and baby gem lettuce.
  • Sprinkle salad with pepitas
  • To serve, drizzle sriracha aioli over pan fried chicken breast.

Equipment

Fry Pan Large
Chopping Board
Grill Pan
Knife Set

Notes

  • Cook time may vary depending on the size of your chicken breast, so do check to make sure the meat is well cooked through.
  • If you prefer less spice, reduce the Sriracha by ½ tablespoon and then adjust as you go.
  • You can substitute the vegetables listed in this salad for what is in season or your favourites. There is no strict rule!

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 946mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6032IU | Vitamin C: 200mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? We'd Love To See It!Mention @thedevilwearssalad or tag #thedevilwearssalad!
8 comments

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8 comments

Avatar
Alex August 4, 2020 - 9:17 am

5 stars
This is an absolutely delicious salad, and the dressing is superb! Love that sriacha kick!

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Avatar
Emily August 4, 2020 - 9:24 am

5 stars
This salad sounds so delicious and that chicken looks fantastic too!

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Rachael August 4, 2020 - 10:34 am

5 stars
Delicious! I love the crunch of the gem lettuce and the spicy dressing!

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Chef Dennis August 4, 2020 - 12:30 pm

5 stars
This salad looks sooo deliciously tasty!

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Sue August 4, 2020 - 9:55 pm

5 stars
I’m a big fan of sriracha aioli so I knew this salad would be right up my alley. I was right – it did not disappoint!

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Marina August 5, 2020 - 5:58 am

5 stars
Fantastic variation to a chicken salad, full of flavours

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Jar of Lemons August 5, 2020 - 6:47 am

5 stars
The perfect recipe!

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Mama Maggie's Kitchen August 5, 2020 - 5:46 pm

5 stars
This dish looks SO deliciously good. I wish I could eat that right now!

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