My only change to the Cooks Illustrated recipe is to add some fresh, chopped cilantro to the final product - either as a garnish or mixed into the dish with the carrots and scallions.
Sesame Noodles With Shredded Chicken
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 piece (1-inch) fresh ginger, grated or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
- Hot water
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1½ pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or 12 ounces dried spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 4 scallions, sliced thin on diagonal
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a stockpot over high heat.
5. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to 6 inches from the broiler element; heat the broiler. Spray the broiler pan top with vegetable cooking spray; place the chicken breasts on top and broil the chicken until lightly browned, 4 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken over and continue to broil until the thickest part is no longer pink when cut into and registers about 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes.
6. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.
7. Add the salt and noodles to the boiling water; boil the noodles until tender, about 4 minutes for fresh and 10 minutes for dried. Drain, then rinse with cold running tap water until cool to the touch; drain again. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sesame oil until evenly coated.
8. Add the shredded chicken, scallions, carrot, cilantro, and sauce; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with a portion of reserved sesame seeds, and serve.