In Which We Play with Leftovers (Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken)

In Which We Play with Leftovers (Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken)

As I said yesterday, the Chicken Adobo works really well as leftovers. I’d torn a recipe for Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken from an issue of Cook’s Illustrated last Fall, mostly because it just looked so darned simple. The sauce is made in a blender or food processor—no cooking at all—so if you’ve got leftover chicken lying around, all you have to do is cook the noodles. The lovely, deep flavor of the adobo chicken works perfectly here, since the chicken itself is poached in two of the sesame sauce’s ingredients: soy sauce and rice vinegar. In order to make the dish a little healthier (though less authentic) I substituted whole wheat linguine for Chinese noodles, and used less sesame oil. It came out wonderfully, bursting with flavor, with a nice touch of heat from the Tabasco and a nice bit of texture from the sesame seeds. Since it’s just me and S, the recipe made enough for two lunches as well (leftovers from leftovers—gotta love that!). S suggested that next time I make it, I top it with some roughly chopped dry-roasted peanuts as well. That strikes me as a terrific idea.

WW readers: If you’re doing Core, the sauce is 5 points per serving—the chicken and whole-wheat pasta are Core foods. Technically, I suspect you’re supposed to count the points in the whole dish since there are more than two non-Core ingredients, but that just doesn’t make sense to me. On the other hand, I am losing weight very, very slowly…

Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 4

¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup natural chunky peanut butter
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (1-inch) fresh ginger, grated or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
5 T. low-sodium soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 t. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 T. lightly packed light brown sugar
Hot water
2 leftover breasts from Chicken Adobo
12 oz whole-wheat linguine
1 T. Asian sesame oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
½ red pepper, in ½” julienne
1 small zucchini, grated on large holes of box grater
1 scallion, sliced thin
2 T. dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Toast the sesame seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a small bowl. In a blender or food processor, puree the remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 tablespoons; set the mixture aside (it can be left in the blender jar or food processor workbowl).

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook linguine as directed on package.

While it’s cooking, prepare the chicken: Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces; set aside. Drain the linguine, then rinse with cold running tap water until cool to the touch; drain again. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sesame oil until evenly coated. Add the shredded chicken, vegetables, and sauce; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with a portion of reserved sesame seeds and chopped peanuts, and serve.