Noodles with Ground Chicken & Crispy Shallots

A friend of mine gave me a stack of her old Bon Appetit magazines earlier this year; which I devoured quickly. This recipe stood out as being very simple yet unique that I earmarked it right away as one of the dishes to make. After all, we love anything with pasta and are always up to trying something new with noodles, and I must say that I am glad that we gave this one a try.

While noodles sometimes feel like  a “heavy” meal, the lime juice used in this dish added such a brightness to the dish that I thought it was a very appropriate summer meal. I took a shortcut and used ground chicken breast instead, and it worked wonderfully. I also skipped the cilantro, because I forgot to get them at the grocery store. The hot sauce was also a must for us. I hope you give this one a try!

Adapted from: Bon Appetit, June 2009

Ingredients
4 large shallots, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
5 garlic cloves; 3 sliced, 2 pressed
2 tbsp Asian sesame oil
3 quarts low-salt chicken broth
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (or, substitute with ground chicken breast)
4 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 6.75-ounce package rice stick noodles
8 ounces Chinese long beans (or green beans), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp raw sugar
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp chopped salted roasted peanuts
Hot chill sauce, such as sriracha, for serving

Directions
Add enough vegetable oil to small saucepan, to reach depth of 2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan and heat oil to 330 deg F. Add shallots to oil and fry until golden brown, stirring often, approximately 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Add sliced garlic to oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to paper towels to drain. Mix sesame oil and pressed garlic in small bowl.

Bring chicken broth to boil in a heavy large pot. Add ground chicken to to broth and simmer until cooked through, stirring to break up chicken into small pieces, approximately 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large book. Add 1 tbsp of fish sauce to chicken, toss to coat. Return broth to boil.

Add rice noodles and cook until tender. Using slotted spoon, transfer noodles to large bowl. Return broth to boil.

Add beans and cook until crisp tender, approximately 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to large bowl. Add sesame-garlic oil, lime juice, 1 tbsp of raw sugar, 2 pinches cayenne pepper, and remaining fish sauce. Toss to coat.

Transfer noodle mixture to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle cilantro, green onions, peanuts, fried shallots, fried garlic and remaining 1 tbsp of raw sugar over noodles. Serve, with hot chili sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

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