Chinese Chicken Salad

One of our family's favorite meals is Chinese Chicken Salad. My favorite part is that everything is entirely homemade, from the dressing to the wontons.

Tip: You can find uncooked wontons in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store, by the pre-packaged lettuce, berries, pesto, etc. I searched for 45 minutes trying to find them once! They are about $2.50-3.00 a package, and will last a long time. Just freeze what you don't use, or make cream cheese wontons for dessert!
Also, you can find plum sauce in the Asian section of your grocery store.

Chinese Chicken Salad
Makes enough for 6-8 people

several heads of romaine lettuce
un-cooked wonton strips
orange, sliced and cut into chunks (or canned mandarin oranges)
sliced almonds
1/2 lb. chicken, cooked and cubed
cooking oil (for deep-frying)

3 T. vinegar (I mix red and white)
2 T. sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. plum sauce
1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 T. sesame oil

Mix all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Wash romaine and tear into bite-sized pieces. Toss almonds, oranges, and cooked chicken with romaine.
Toss salad with dressing (less is more!) and sprinkle wonton strips on top. Serve immediately.

To fry the wonton strips: 
1 Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium and fill with cooking oil, about 1/2" - 1" deep. 
2 With a knife, cut wonton wrappers into strips (they come in squares, so I cut each in fourths to make four strips.) 
3 When oil is hot and bubbling, drop wonton strips in. Immediately turn over with tongs until lightly golden and crispy. Drain in a paper-towel lined bowl.

Tips for frying: I make sure the oil is really hot. Get your fingers wet with water and (carefully!) splash some on the oil. If it bubbles and pops, your oil is hot enough. Also, the hotter your oil is, the less time your wontons will need to be fried. I know my oil is the right temperature when I'm can only fry four strips at a time. Any more than that and they burn on me because I'm not quick enough!

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