Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Chicken Noodle Salad – Making Friends with Cold Spaghetti

The great American philosopher, Homer Simpson, once said, “You don’t make friends with salad.” This cold, spicy, and addictively delicious chicken noodle salad might be the exception. You bring a big bowl of this to the next big cookout, and you’re going to make all sorts of friends. The only people who might not be huge fans are the folks who brought regular pasta salads, in which case the best you can hope for is frenemies.

While I also love more traditional pasta salads, there’s just something extra special about this combination of tastes, and textures, as well as the always exciting aspect of spicy food served cold. Besides that, this recipe is a perfect catchall for all those summer vegetables we're supposed to be eating more of. No matter what you add, if you can make this ahead, it will always come out a little better, since the noodles and chicken will have time to soak up all that flavorful dressing.

As I mentioned, this salad usually gets made because you have some possibly dry leftover grilled chicken around, or other meat for that matter, but if you do want to poach some like I did here, I would watch this video for the proper technique. Or, in a pinch, just pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store. Regardless of what you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 large portions:
8 ounces dry spaghetti, cooked al dente, rinsed in cold water, and drained
1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 cup thinly grated carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
1 cup packed mixture of chopped basil, mint, and cilantro

For the dressing (all amounts here are to taste, so add more if you want): 
3 garlic cloves, crushed 
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
1 tablespoon fish sauce 
1 tablespoon sriracha 
1 tablespoon hoisin 
1 teaspoon sesame oil


SpasticMuse said...

OMG... This, with soba noodles, maybe some fresh grated ginger and some sprouts... {eyes rolling back into head} Too much... can't take it... Must make...

SpasticMuse said...

OMG... Use Soba noodles... Fresh grated ginger... Sprouts... {eyes rolling back into head} Must make...

Anthony Vaiana said...

If I didn't want to put all the alcohol in this could I use Dr. Pepper?

junewl said...

Good morning from Ventura! A word about Sriracha: Mr Fong and a local farmer named Craig Underwood have had a wonderful and symbiotic relationship involving pepper cultivation for many years. That beautiful friendship ended over, you guessed it, $$$$$. I only know what I read in the paper, but it sounds like the company wants to pay less and has discussed replacing Mr Underwood's fabulous SoCal cultivated peppers with something called 'pepper mash' from China. I should say that I have had some fleeting association with the Underwoods over the years but I know them about as well as I know the Fong Family (and I don't know the Fongs at all). I'm sorry that they couldn't work things out and I'm not interested in any pepper mash from China, so HENCEFORTH: no Sriracha for me, nosiree.

Mary W said...

Really wasn't interested but thought - try something new. I'm so glad I watched as it does look so good to me. QUESTION: I can't eat cilantro so do you have a suggested substitute or just leave it out?

Tanza Erlambang said...

look delicious....yummy

I. Catchum said...

When making the dressing, I added the fresh juice of 1/2 a lime and a minced Thai birdseye chili which took it to another level.

Chris K. said...

This turned out great. I love cold noodle salads in the summer. The only tweak I might make next time is maybe add some lime zest to get more of a citrus note. A good choice for all those summer potluck barbecues.

jam said...

this came out SO good. the only thing i'd do next time is use less pasta. bf didn't seem to mind the amount of pasta but i prefer more veggies. i added a bit more soy sauce and some fresh ginger. i also only used cilantro for the herbs. this dish was excellent and definitely a keeper. i wish this was on allrecipes.com so i could write my review there as well. ty for the recipe!

@Mary W.. you can always use parsley for cilantro but that always makes dishes taste more italian to me. it's not a true substitute but it's going to be as close as you're going to get. good luck!

Unknown said...

This was delicious and very easy! Thank you.

Redcaddy97 said...

WOW. Made this today as a side to some grilled sausages. Used only basil as SO doesn't like cilantro or mint. I don't care for mint, but love cilantro. Would have been better if I'd let the cook rule and used cilantro. OTT (over the top) DA-luscious!! Did add an extra tsp of so of ciracha at the end. GREAT recipe! Thanks Chef John!

Redcaddy97 said...

Love this. Made as written except used only basil (BF doesn't like cilantro or mint, would have been better with cilantro). My ONLY thing is....despite tossing and tossing, the leftovers got kinda 'dry' as far as the pasta goes. Made an extra batch of dressing, and have added as needed. REALLY good.

C. S. Lewis Society of Frederick said...

Yummy, great starter to add many twists too. I love the peanuts as well. I will be making this again and again and again.