What do you make for dinner when your apartment is hotter than a sweatshop but the thought of eating cereal and milk as a meal erodes your soul? Cold rice noodle bowl to the rescue! Full disclosure here – while this has the semblance of being a cool oven-free dinner, I did in fact turn on both my burner and oven to make this dish. But, once those were turned off and I was sitting pants-less in front of the AC unit – it was cool sailing! Aside from the oven usage – this really is the perfect summer dish. The rice noodles keep things light, the mint, basil, and cilantro add a delicious herby-freshness and who doesn’t love a peanut sauce? All you need to do is cook the chicken and some noodles and it’s din din time.
Rice Noodle Bowl
Adapted from The New York Times
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (I subbed worcestershire sauce)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 8 ounces dried rice vermicelli
- 2 small cucumbers, cut in half moons
- 1 medium carrot, cut in thin matchsticks
- Small handful basil sprigs
- Small handful mint sprigs
- Small handful cilantro sprigs
- 4 tablespoons slivered scallions
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
For Peanut Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (again I subbed worcestershire sauce)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1-inch chunk ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Pinch red pepper flakes
Puree the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and chili garlic sauce in a small food processor. Place chicken thighs in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl.
Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Grill or broil the chicken thighs until browned. About 5-6 minutes a side. Let cool and slice into strips. Reserve the pan juices.
In a small bowl, place a nice handful of noodles in the bottom of your bowl. Spoon some of the chicken pan drippings on top of the noodles. Top with cucumbers, carrots, and sliced chicken. Add the basil, mint and cilantro. Drizzle peanut sauce on top of everything. Sprinkle with the scallions and crushed peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
Simple and understated is often the best approach to food, fashion, and reacting to your friend’s horrific new haircut. It always surprises me how delicious a simple whole roast chicken is and it’s one of my absolute favorite foods. This recipe is pretty foolproof, too. Toss the bird in with your favorite veggies and roast for an hour and a half. The trickiest part is carving the golden bird. But, that’s where YouTube comes into play. Hope you enjoy this chicken as much as I do.
Rustic Roasted Chicken
Adapted from Ina Garten
1 whole chicken (about 3.5 lbs)
salt and pepper
1 bunch of thyme
1 lemon, cut in half
1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
fingerling potatoes (small bag)
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, top removed and cut into wedges
2 yellow onions, cut into chunks
Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse your chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and thyme. Brush the bird with about a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper and any leftover thyme that you have. Put the veggies in a roasting pan or dutch oven and place the chicken on top. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. See YouTube for helpful carving advice.
Thighs are better than breasts. There, I said it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move forward. These chicken thighs are easy to make and full of flavor. Chickpeas, which pack a protein-rich punch, make this a hearty and filling dish. Feel free to use any spices you like, and if you’re not into spices, that’s ok too, you can just go with good ol’ S and P. You could even turn this into a one-pot (and carb-free) meal by adding veggies to the mix. Carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash or zucchini would be great in this. I served the chicken with bulgur wheat, which soaked up all that yummy tomatoey-chickpea sauce. You’re going to want to add this one to your weeknight repertoire, trust me.
The whole gang didn’t even fit in the picture!
Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas
Adapted from Bon Appetit
4 chicken thighs
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can of chickpeas
3 tbsp tomato sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 small onion (I used 3 green onions and a little bit of red onion)
2 cloves garlic
Ok, let’s be clear. I didn’t really measure my spices, I just sprinkled a good amount of each spice on the chicken thighs. But it would have been around a 1/4 tsp if I had… Preheat your oven to 425. Season thighs on both sides with all the spices and salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the chicken skin side down in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove thighs and put them on a plate. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of shmaltzy goodness. Throw in the chopped garlic cloves and onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pan and finish it in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.