THAI-STYLE CHICKEN SALAD
Place three chicken thighs in a saucepan with 2 cups water, 1 large scallion, 1 smashed garlic clove, 2 "coins" of fresh ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces and let cool, then remove the skin and all visible fat, remove from the bones, cut into crosswise slices and place in a shallow plate. Drizzle them with a mixture of 1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce), 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, several drops of green habanero sauce, a grind of black pepper and a shake of salt, and set aside to marinate in this mixture, turning occasionally.
Discard the green onion, garlic and ginger, and pour 1 cup of the chicken poaching broth into a cup, setting aside long enough to allow the fat to rise to the top; skim it off. Reserve any remaining broth for another use.
Slice enough fresh cabbage to make 2 cups paper thin, and place it in a large bowl. Remove the ribs and seeds from 1 jalapeno pepper, slice it paper thin, and add to the bowl. Cut 1/2 cucumber into julienne strips and add it to the bowl. Mince 1 large scallion and add it to the bowl. Add one large sprig of mint to the bowl.
Mix 1 tablespoon nam pla, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon Thai garlic-chile sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar into the cup of warm reserved chicken broth, and pour this mixture over the cabbage and vegetable mixture, stirring well. Let it steep for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Chop 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts fine.
When the cabbage has steeped for at least 1/2 hour, strain it, reserving the liquid for another purpose. Place the drained cabbage in a serving bowl, and distribute the chicken pieces on top, pouring any remaining marinating liquid over the chicken and cabbage. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top, and serve.
This is a meal in itself, but we indulged, and turned dinner multi-ethnic, by putting out the fresh baba ganouj (reported in a separate message) and toasted pita quarters.
It went surprisingly well with a dry Austrian white wine, thanks mostly to the dish not being truly Thai fiery. If you prefer to boost the chile-pepper content, forget the wine.