Sunday, May 18, 2014

Thai Chicken and Noodles

I've been making this recipe for years, but for some reason, it's never made it on to the blog.

As far as slow cooker recipes go, this one is a little more time intensive and hands on than some.  However it is well worth it.  Originally, this is to be served over lettuce.  We like it better over some rice noodles though.

This will serve 6 - 8.

Thai Chicken and Noodles
adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker

1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken cut into 11 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 4 breast portions plus 2 wings and backbone.  Save the wings and backbone for chicken stock)
2 T olive oil
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into thick (1/4") slices
1/2 lg yellow onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c dry white wine
1/4 c fish sauce
1/2 c chicken stock or water

2 T olive oil
1 T soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 t red wine vinegar
1 t peeled and minced ginger

4 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
2 T fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
8 oz rice noodles
lime wedges

Season chicken all over with salt and pepper.  In a large pan over medium high heat, warm 2 T olive oil.  Add the chicken, in batches to prevent overcrowding, to the pan and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.  Set aside and sear remaining chicken.

Pour off most of the fat in the pan, leaving 1 - 2 T.  Return the pan to medium-high heat.  Add the lemongrass and onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Pour in wine, fish sauce, and chicken stock and stir to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom.    Season with a bit of salt and pepper and transfer mixture to a large (6 qt) slow cooker.  Stack the chicken on top.  Cover and cook on low setting for 3 - 5 hours (mine is done usually around 3 1/2 - 4 hrs, but my slow cooker is not as slow as some), or until chicken is very tender.

When chicken is finished cooking,  bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the rice noodles and cook until al dente.  Drain and place in serving dish.

While the water comes to a boil, transfer cooked, tender chicken to a plate and let cool slightly.  Pull off skin and remove meat from the bones.  (At this point, I discard the skin.  I transfer the bones, plus the neck and wings, and juices left in the slow cooker to a large pot.  I cover with water and let simmer on the stove for several hours for a nice flavorful chicken stock).  Shred the chicken with 2 forks or your fingers.  Place chicken in a serving bowl.

Combine olive oil, soy sauce, juice of 1 lime, red wine vinegar, and minced garlic.  Shake vigorously in a jar, blend in a mini food processor, or use an immersion blender to combine vinaigrette.  Pour half of vinaigrette over chicken along with green onions, if using, and cilantro.  Toss well.  Taste and add more vinaigrette if desired (I almost always desire more).  Serve chicken over cooked rice noodles.  Accompany with lime wedges.

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