Soba Noodle Chicken Salad

I'm obsessed with rotisserie chickens.  Want to know a cute story about it?  Cool, I thought so.

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My obsession began a while ago when I learned that rotisserie chickens are actually the whole chickens in grocery stores that are about to expire, so grocery stores roast them in order to extend their life.  It's a value-added product but they're often cheaper than that same chicken would be raw because stores just want to get them off the shelves.  On Sundays, a rotisserie chicken at Harris Teeter is $4.99. THAT IS A STEAL.  Just saying.

OK, but that isn't the cute story - the cute story is that right as I became obsessed with them, I started noticing that my parents seemed to always have a rotisserie chicken in their fridge when I would go visit.  As it turns out, my dad had read the same article and developed the exact same obsession.

Father-daughter food coordination, am I right?

OK.  You're right it isn't that cute of a story sorry here's a recipe.

P.S. Please don't get weird about the fact that these chickens are close to their expiration dates.  They're fine and you should eat them.

buckwheat noodles and kale.  Not a bad meal all by itself.

buckwheat noodles and kale.  Not a bad meal all by itself.

This recipe is my favorite kind - the type of dish has everything you need for a whole meal, can be modified and edited to your preference, and which can be served hot, cold or in between.  It is adapted from this recipe on BonAppetit.com, which is one of my favorite recipe inspiration sources.

The basis of this recipe is soba noodles and kale, which are boiled together.  Pan reduction!  So efficient.  This method of cooking kale is called blanching and is a great way to make a tough green more tender.  Cheffin', y'all.

As a bit of a side note, I'm changing the format in which I write recipes.  I want to make them as easy as possible for y'all to follow, so I'm going to list the ingredients up front, but I'm also going to include them in the body of the recipe so you don't have to scroll around to follow directions easily.  I'm also going to write it in the order in which I would actually do the tasks so that you can see how I create a sense of flow in my kitchen.  Let me know what you think and if there are other design flaws you can see!

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soba noodle thai chicken salad

  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 bunch kale of any kind
  • 4 servings soba noodles (dried or fresh, available in the international section of most grocery stores or at Asian specialty stores)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Rotisserie chicken (for a veg dish, you could easily sub in whatever your favorite type of tofu preparation is.)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

First things first.  Boil a big pot of water - throw in a small handful of salt.  Then slice one bunch of kale into bite size pieces (any type of kale is fine, let's not make this harder than it needs to be).  When the water boils, throw in 4 servings soba noodles and the kale.  If you're using dried soba, add them to the pot about 2 minutes before the kale.  Cook the noodles according to the package, but let the kale be a part of the party for the last two minutes.

While those are cooking, thinly slice half an onion and leave slices to soak covered in water and 2 big pinches of salt.  Set aside.

Place 1/4 cup dried sour cherries (you can also used unsweetened dried cranberries) in a small bowl of hot water (just enough to cover them).  Set aside.

When the noodles are tender, drain everything, throw it in a big bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons sesame oil.  Set aside.

Pick the meat off a rotisserie chicken.  Chop into bite sized pieces. Add to noodles.

Zest one lime into your large bowl. Squeeze that lime over noodles and chicken, tossing to combine. Drain onion slices and add to mixture. Toss in 1/4 cup fish sauce. Drain dried cherries or cranberries and roughly chop, then add to mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Slice 1 Granny Smith apple into matchsticks and add to bowl. Sprinkle salad with 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts.

Congratulations!  You've made a delicious meal that can feed you and your loved ones - or just you for a couple of days.  I'm proud of us.