On the Table

At the recent tabletop show at 41 Madison, there were goodies galore. My friend Frank and I explored the showrooms top to bottom to see the latest collections from Lenox, Dansk, Rosenthal, Guzzini, and more. Our timing was perfect—as we hit the brand new Michael Aram showroom there was a cocktail party just starting. So, while viewing the latest designs, we got to see the Aram serving trays in action. Frank kept diving into the grilled cheese with pulled pork, but my attentions were focused on the tea smoked chicken salad on wontons. Turns out, Michael Bick of Some Things Fishy Catering, Ltd was on the scene, and was generous enough to share his recipe. The combination of the spices were refreshingly unique (and exceptionally delicious), and the fried wontons lent a nice crispy edge. Michael recommends using lapsang souchong tea for its smoky qualities. If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a wok or large casserole pan with lid. Chef Cathy Shambly has some great step-by-step photos on her blog, Showfood Chef, that take you through the process. I once did a fish cooking class at the Institute for Culinary Education, and we smoked salmon in a similar way, using 2 roasting pans. Totally worth the effort! Photo above, Michael Aram’s Olive Branch napkin holder keeps things neat! See more photos of my tabletop picks and the party food here.

Tea Smoked Chicken Salad by Michael Bick

2 chicken breasts, raw

1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 TB Nori Kome Furikake rice seasoning
1 tsp Shichimi Togarashi

Smoke Mixture:
1/2 cup loose leaf tea
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice

Sesame Aioli:
2 large egg yolks
2 TB dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 TB yuzu juice
1 3/4 cups soy oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB Linghams sweet & spicy hot sauce
1 TB Nori Komi Furikaki rice seasoning

Salad Mixture:
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 jalapeƱos, seeded & minced
2 inch-long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons pickled ginger, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced

Marinade: In a non reactive bowl, mix ingredients together and marinate the chicken breasts for 1 to 2 hours.

Smoke Mixture: Combine ingredients and place in a stovetop smoker. Follow directions on smoker and smoke marinated chicken for 8 minutes. Remove from smoker and finish cooking in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. When cool, shred by hand (this is a big pain but worth it).

Sesame Aioli: Place yolks, mustard, garlic, juice, in blender. While blending, drizzle in both oils, until thick and mayonnaise-like. lt may need more oil. Season with soy, sweet chili, and rice seasoning.

Salad: Combine shredded chicken with all prepared vegetables. When you are ready to serve toss with Sesame Aioli.

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