Saigon Chicken Breasts
- SERVINGS: 4
A potent lemongrass marinade infuses the chicken breasts before grilling and doubles as the sauce for the rice noodles.
- 1 pound dried rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, white inner bulb only
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- Four 5-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
- In a large bowl, cover the rice noodles with water and let stand until pliable, about 20 minutes.
- In a mini-processor, combine the lemongrass, sugar, garlic, ginger, chile and oil and process to a paste. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Put the chicken in a large shallow bowl and add 1/4 cup of the lemongrass mixture, turning to coat the chicken. Marinate for 20 minutes. Stir the water and cilantro into the remaining lemongrass mixture.
- Light a grill. Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Rinse with cold water and drain again, then repeat the process once more. Let the rice noodles dry, lifting them to separate the strands.
- Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire or in a preheated grill pan for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then cut the breasts into thick strips. Toss the rice noodles with the lemongrass dressing and the peanuts, top with the chicken and serve.
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