Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice Noodles

I've rounded out the week with not even going to the store. I've managed to use up a lot of stuff I've had on hand to make a virtually "free" menu this week.

It's been an interesting experiment in cheap menu preparation, and has been pretty successful. 

This meal is really easy, using ingredient most people have on hand and if not, are very cheap to procure. 

You can add a bunch of different veggies to this, from bok choy to peas as it's kind of like fried rice, but with rice noodles instead. I just used what I had on hand. 

Chicken Fried Rice Noodles 
Adapted from here

3 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless) 
Make a brine of 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and water to cover

1 package (6.75oz) rice noodles (I use Dynasty maifun rice sticks)
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoon sherry  

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Hoisin or Oyster sauce (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium red (or yellow) onion, thinly sliced

1-2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small piece ginger, minced
 (about a teaspoon worth)
3 scallions, sliced


I brined my chicken (as I have been doing regularly) in the above mentioned salt, sugar and soy sauce. I only let it go for a few hours, but the longer you let it brine, the saltier it'll be. I felt this was pretty spot on at about 4 hours or so.

This, like other stir-fry dishes we've done in the past requires proper prep. 

First, you need to get your noodles soaked in hot water and drained. 

Second, get your chicken trimmed up and sliced into bite-sized strips. 

Third, get your veggies prepped and standing by.

Fourth, get your sauce made up.

When you're ready to go, get a tablespoon or so of oil in your "wok" and get it over high heat. This dish requires high heat, so everything is going to go quickly.

Toss in your chicken. It'll sputter and pop. Keep stirring.

Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. It'll release a lot of liquid. It's ok, we'll use it. 

Put the chicken and juices aside and add a little more oil and the veggies (including the ginger) to the pan (don't add the garlic yet). 

When the onions and carrots are softened (5-6 minutes) add the garlic and half the sauce mixture.

 Toss for a minute or two and add your noodles.

You'll want to cut the noodles with scissors or something before you throw them in. They are next to impossible to turn without cutting them up a bit. Trust me.

You can also cut them in the pan, careful not to scratch the surface.

Toss the noodles to coat as best as you can. 

Add the rest of the sauce and continue to toss, 2-3 minutes.

The noodles should start to get "fried".

Once the noodles have been coated and cooked, add the chicken and juices. The extra liquid will help coat the noodles. 

Continue to stir-fry until everything is heated through and evenly distributed. I probably went another 5 minutes on the highest heat I have, trying to get the noodles crispier.

The texture of the noodles was great. I thought there was more body to them than normal and the crispy bits were nice throughout. The chicken was brined just right and added a nice salty/sweet flavor to the meat. I think thighs are perfect for this kind of meal as breasts tend to dry out.

The overall flavor was very...delicate. I thought it was really quite nice, but after adding a little Hoisin sauce (and Sriracha) to the bowl, it was more bold tasting. 

I list a tablespoon of Oyster or Hoisin as optional in the ingredients as I think that it would add a lot to the sauce if added in the beginning. This is totally up to you and I encourage you to experiment. 

I love noodles, so this was a solid meal that I really enjoyed. Really easy to throw together and easy to devour.


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