Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Sesame Noodles

Pin It
Today was a great food prepping day. I made five batches of the Herb Mustard Chicken for an end-of-the-school-year BBQ for Linfield's chemistry department (students, faculty, and families), two batches of Cajun-Curry Chicken, and I tried a new recipe for tonight's dinner.

Tonight's dinner was delicious! It was spicy, yet flavorful. Sometimes that's a hard balance to find. Many times spicy sauces are just a bowl of heat, without much taste. This was a killer sauce: little bit of sweetness from the brown sugar, a bit of nuttiness from the sesame oil and peanut butter, and some zing from the hot sauce.

I like spicy foods, so it's rare that I will suggest using a little less heat. In this recipe, I'd use about 1 1/2 tsp of the hot sauce if you like foods moderately spicy; 1 tsp if you like it fairly spicy, and so on. Feel free to start with a little, do a taste test, and add a bit more until it's to your liking. Now, it might matter what kind of hot sauce is used, because all brands are not equal in their hotness. The above suggestion would work with any brand. Since you're making the sauce, you may as well make it to your liking!

Grilled Chicken with Sesame Noodles
(Cook's Illustrated)

Classic sesame noodles can be a tricky dish, with gummy noodles, dry chicken, and bland sauce. We developed a few techniques to avoid those problems. Here's what we discovered.

* Rinsing the cooked noodles well eliminates lots of starch, which can turn the cold pasta gummy.
* Tossing the pasta with the sauce directly after rinsing keeps the pasta moist.
* Grilling the chicken over high heat lets it cook through before drying out.
* If traditional Asian sesame paste is hard to find, a combination of peanut butter and sesame oil makes an excellent substitute.

If you prefer, you can substitute 12 ounces dried spaghetti for the Asian noodles.

Serves 4 to 6
3 cloves garlic , minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Tapatio Salsa Picante...see above note)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup peanut butter
Table salt
1 pound fresh Asian noodles
6 scallions , sliced thin

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, whisk garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, brown sugar, and oil in small bowl. Toss chicken with 3 tablespoons garlic mixture in bowl. Puree remaining garlic mixture and peanut butter in blender until smooth.

2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and noodles to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well, rinse under cold running water until cool, and drain again. Toss noodles, peanut sauce, and scallions in large bowl. Adjust seasonings.

3. Grill chicken breasts over high heat until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Slice chicken and serve with noodles.

No comments: