It’s all about reinventing the leftovers, creating new variations on the theme, so there are new flavors that make you look forward to the next meal. Last week, Carolina (the fantastic new Chef at the Children’s Storefront School), told me how much the kids loved the Honey Ginger Chicken she made, a take on her mother’s recipe. I had a fine Eberly’s organic chicken in the fridge so I tried it for myself. I threw in some butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey and mustard and made a lovely glaze. These days, my most favorite way to roast a chicken is butterflied. You just cut the backbone out and press to flatten slightly, breast side up.It goes in the oven for about 50 minutes at 400. (Baste it once or twice). This way the chicken cooks evenly and the results are always juicy. So I ended up with a perfectly cooked chicken, crispy, perfectly sweet skin and finger licking good. In a perfect world, there’s a pre-roasted, organic chicken in my fridge on hand for the good part of the week. This way, after a long day there’s virtually no prep involved for a satisfying meal on the table. It can be eaten on its own, or revamped for new recipes. I’m a big fan of Vietnamese noodle dishes, those sweet and spicy elements always with fresh herbs thrown in. With just a little more prep, I whipped together a rice noodle salad inspired by all of my favorite Pho spots. Then I topped it with the leftover roast chicken, warmed and cut into pieces. The only thing missing here were toasted peanuts, which would add a delectable crunchiness.
Rice Noodles with Chicken a la Vietnamese
½ pre-roasted organic chicken (honey ginger glazed is great for this)
½ 14oz container rice noodles (I like Thai kitchen)
1/3-cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1/3-cup mint leaves, rough chopped
1/3-cup basil leaves, rough chopped
3 Tablespoons toasted peanuts, toasted and rough chopped
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
1 Tablespoon ground Chile paste (or to taste)
2/3-cup hot water
¼ cup maple sugar (you may use unrefined cane sugar)
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 small carrot, grated
Heat the oven to 375°
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil in a pot and submerge the rice noodles to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the water.
2. Remove the chicken from the bones and cut into bite sized pieces. Heat in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until warm.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, adding the carrots after combining the liquid.
4. Serve the chicken on a bed of rice noodles with a sprinkling of herbs and toasted peanuts.
5. Pour dressing overtop just before serving.