Sesame Noodle Salad with Shredded Chicken

I loved the sesame flavour in this recipe. I used the 12 ounces of dried spaghetti since I could not find fresh Chinese egg noodles.  This recipe is taken from Cook’s Illustrated “The New Best Recipe” cookbook.

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1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 medium garlic coves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco sauce)
2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
Hot water
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or 12 ounces dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken halves (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
4 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on the large hoes of a box grater (about 2/3 cup)

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1. Toast the sesame seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a small bowl. In a blender or food processor, purée the remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, and brown sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. 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).

2. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a stockpot. 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 under cold running water until cool to the touch; drain again. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sesame oil until evenly coated. Set aside.

3. 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 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. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the shredded chicken, scallions, carrot, and sauce to the prepared noodles; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with some of the reserved sesame seeds, and serve.

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