Adding shredded chicken to salads, soups, wraps and pasta can turn a light dish into a more substantial meal. Poaching chicken may evoke thoughts of a bland, overcooked chewy protein. However it can be so much more than that if done correctly. By poaching it in a fragrant stock, you not only ensure it retains its moisture, but it will also infuse the meat with subtle flavours, enhancing the taste of your dish. It is a hugely versatile way to cook chicken. And any leftovers can be sealed, popped into the fridge and used for kids’ school lunches and meals for up to two-to-three days later. The simple miso dressing adds a zing and depth of flavour, allowing this dish to be passed off as a lunch party special or simply served up as a family meal. Enjoy!
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
TIME: 30 MINS
SERVES: 4 PEOPLE
1 litre chicken stock
1 pack coriander, leaves picked and setaside for salad, roots/stalks reserved for chicken stock
10cm piece ginger, halved
1 tablespoon fish sauce
6-7 free range chicken thighs (or four breasts)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly crushed
1/2 onion sliced
2 tablespoons shiro miso paste (or normal miso paste)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vege oil)
Juice of lime
270g pack soba noodles
1 cup micro greens/snow peas/bean sprouts (you choose)
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced on an angle
4 spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle
1/2 telegraph cucumber, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced on an angle
4 sprigs Thai basil or Vietnamese mint,leaves picked
- Place stock, corian-der stalks and roots (if there were some), ginger, fish sauce, onion and garlic and chicken in a pot to boil. Boil for about 15-20 seconds, then take pot from the stove and leave chicken in the liquid for at least 30 minutes with the lid on, or until you are ready to shred it. Do not boil for longer as the chicken will be tough. Do not remove the lid as the residual heat will continue to cook the chicken. Do not pour out any of the stock as you will need some for your dressing.
- Place miso paste, rice wine vinegar, mirin, oil and 3 tablespoons poaching liquid in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 mins. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and set aside until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the instructions – for soba noodles it’s 3 mins. Drain and set aside until ready to use. If they are stuck together when you go to use, simply run under a little cold water.
- Shred chicken either with your fingers or with two forks. In a bowl, roughly combine all your noodles with half the cucumber, half the microgreens, half the chilli, half the spring onions, half the herbs and three-quarters of the dressing.
- Tip neatly onto a serving platter, then top with the rest of the chicken, spring onion, cucumber, basil and coriander leaves, and remaining chilli. Drizzle with remaining dressing, then serve.
NB: Strain the stock you poached the chicken in and either freeze or save for a soup base, it is simply delicious!