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Chicken & Cabbage Salad

_MG_5439This time of year, I remember why I love New York. All of the streets are lit up, there’s a crispness in the air that isn’t bitter cold yet, and you can’t help but smile at all of the holiday decorations and Christmas trees. But with December comes a rush of holiday parties and with them an abundance of sweets, drinks and delicious little cheesy cocktail appetizers (you know what I mean). Some nights, you might just want a salad. Personally, I need salads with a lot of crunch, and some interesting elements besides just lettuce (and I can’t always justify adding cheese and bacon). This salad has quickly become one of my favorite weeknight meals — quick, inexpensive and delicious.

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Chicken & Cabbage Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit, serves 4)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons  brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
Kosher salt
1/2 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled, shredded
6 scallions, whites and pale greens only, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or 3 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
1 cup baby spinach, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 avocado, thinly sliced

Whisk chile, oil, lime and lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and ginger in a large bowl; season with salt. Add cabbage, carrots, scallions, chicken, spinach, and cilantro; toss to coat. Top with peanuts and avocado slices.

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