Weekend Eats: Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken

BY RACHEL DICKENS

If you asked me two weeks ago where I’d find my next great dinner recipe, I’d have guessed about a hundred things – including Coolio’s cookbook – all before I’d have guessed a Sports Illustrated model’s blog.

Chrissy Teigen, an infamously witty tweeter and ultra-gorgeous swimsuit model, also writes So Delushious: one of the best cooking blogs I’ve read in a while/ever. Her recipes range from basic to intricate, healthy to carb-laden, and of course, sweet to savory. Oh, and did I mention she’s engaged to John Legend? Yeah, guess that’s cool too.

Given that I hadn’t cooked a meal that wasn’t frozen from Trader Joe’s in roughly six months, I came to Chrissy’s blog looking for something easy. It’s also 400 degrees outside, so the idea of slaving over a burning oven didn’t sound too appealing either. I wanted something fresh, simple, and tasty enough that I could eat lots of leftovers without instantly growing bored.

That’s when I found her Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken; she’s not kidding, the recipe’s top notch. I could write a literal novel about all the reasons I love this dish, but for the sake of your attention span, I’ll stick with the SparkNotes:

  • It takes five minutes to make (slight exaggeration or absolute truth? See for yourself and get back to me).
  • It’s customizable – just add veggies, protein, etc. for optimal healthiness.
  • It’s best served cold, which is great according to Chrissy because there are “NOOOOO TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS NECESSARY!” I, for one, agree times ten.
  • It lasts! I made enough for a few lunches and dinners, which is impressive coming from someone who refused to eat dorm food in college for fear of repetition (and general grossness, I suppose).

I could go on, but you probably get the point. It’s a staple recipe that anyone who likes Asian food, noodles, and loads of spice will definitely enjoy.

I did, however, make a few adjustments to the original recipe (posted below and available on this site). First, I skewed the oil/water ratio slightly towards the latter, because even while preparing a massive bowl of enriched-macaroni pasta, I still like to feign health-consciousness. I also tend to multiply the garlic content in recipes by my weight in gold, so I used around seven fresh cloves. Oh, and here’s the best part! I couldn’t find chili oil at the store, so I ended up using a Sriracha-cayenne mixture that totally did the trick.

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large boneless chicken breast
1/2 lb dried linguine
1 t plus 1 tbl sesame oil
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 T water (or to desired consistency)
2 t chile oil
3 T soy sauce
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
2 T minced garlic (mince pretty fine, it stays raw in the final dish)
3 scallions, chopped

Directions:

Bring chicken breast to boil in a large pot of water over high heat. When water boils, turn the heat off and let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and then remove from the water. Bring the water to boil again and salt it well. Cook pasta until al dente, and then drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Add the pasta back to the cooking pot, toss with 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and set aside.

In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the scallions, together with enough of the water to make a runny, but still fairly thick, dressing and set aside. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it and add it, with the chopped scallions, to the pasta pot. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Let the pasta cool and serve cold or at room temperature with a sprinkling of kosher salt. Leftovers improve.

So we have: versatile meal, useful adjustments, and most importantly, a great blog I’ll continue to use for my own meals and maybe even entertainment purposes. Next up? Peach whiskey chicken, no doubt.

Rachel Dickens grew up in St. Louis and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, both of which led her to an incomparable love for Bud Light and cheese curds (but she’s been to Girl & the Goat twice, so she’s obviously cultured, right?). She doesn’t have a blog, but if she did, it’d have a lot to do with shopping, world peace, and of course, The Bachelor.

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