I think I found my true love. Okay my second true love (first one goes to Jason). Are you ready for it? It’s rice noodles. Yes, rice noodles. They are seriously the best noodles in the world. It’s just so wonderfully slippery and thin, and it tastes so much better than regular pasta noodles like spaghetti or penne. Plus, they’re gluten-free. Well, to be honest, I don’t really care about gluten-freeness but it’s healthier so that’s all that matters. But enough about the noodles. The star of this dish is the chicken.

Now when it comes to buying chicken, I’ve always used chicken breasts but this recipe called for chicken thighs, and I was so surprised as to how much better it was. I think it’s because there’s way more gaminess and fat on these suckers. It’s probably not as healthy but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of change.

So the chicken thighs are diced into little bite-sized pieces and they get sauteed with some jalapenos, bell peppers, and shallots so there’s a little bit of spice in this dish. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, omit the jalapenos. Then it’s simmered in this quick and easy Thai sauce consisting of brown sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin and some red curry paste, which gives it that light creaminess. And that’s it. Dinner in 20 minutes. Well, it wasn’t quite that quick for me since I sliced off my finger cutting the shallots but the bloody mess and the pain was well worth it.

The sauce was blooming with flavor, the chicken was nice and fatty, and they both paired wonderfully with the rice noodles. I’ve never enjoyed such a quick 20 minute meal in my entire life. I’ll be sure to make this again when Jason’s back in town.

Thai Chicken with Rice Noodles (adapted from Soup Addict):

Yields 2 servings

  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

In a large pot of boiling water, cook rice noodles according to package instructions, about 4 minutes; drain well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, curry paste and 1/3 cup water; set aside.

Season the chicken thigh pieces with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the jalapeno, bell pepper and shallot. Cook, stirring, until peppers are crisp-tender, about 4-6 minutes.

Add the chicken thigh pieces and cook until lightly golden on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. (The sauce will thicken slightly.)

Stir in 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch, adding more cornstarch as needed to thicken.

Stir in the cilantro; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve immediately over rice noodles, garnished with cilantro.

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