Glazed Chicken and Szechuan Noodle Salad

Would you believe I have spent all summer (until now) without a gas grill?  How is that possible you might ask?  Ours simply refused to light when we took it out of storage in the Spring.  My husband took it all apart, cleaned all the parts, refurbished the burner with new parts, put it back together and it still wouldn’t work.  Dang!   So while everyone else was having their cookouts, or talking about the great foods they cooked on their grills I was feeling totally left out, not having anything to contribute to that conversation.

Last weekend we finally got a new grill, all in pieces, in a HUGE box.  The nice guys at the big orange store brought it out and put it in my car for me, but I was dreading the task of helping to put it together.  But surprise! it was so simple.  The directions were clear, made perfect sense. and all the screws were even pre-installed so we didn’t end up with any extra parts.  This grill is just like having a gas stove on my back deck instead of in my kitchen.   We celebrated the new grill and how smart we were to put it together by grilling a steak for dinner that evening.  It was a very good steak but not especially blog-worthy.  (I like that word.)

My post today is about my first real effort to cook something a little jazzier on the grill; Glazed Chicken Thighs.  Since the recipe for the chicken contained some ingredients found in Asian cuisines, I paired it with another recipe I had for Szechuan Noodle Salad, and also included Sesame Broccoli.  This, then, is my complete menu.  It can be prepared in about 30 minutes.  While the grill is heating coat the chicken in the glaze mixture.  Grill the chicken.  Keep the chicken warm in a low oven, and cook the noodles and steam the broccoli. Season the noodles and broccoli and serve.

GLAZED CHICKEN and SZECHUAN NOODLE SALAD with SESAME BROCCOLI

SERVINGS:    4

INGREDIENTS–CHICKEN

  • 1 Tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • cooking spray

INGREDIENTS–NOODLES

  • 6 ounces uncooked udon noodles (thick, fresh Japanese wheat noodles), or whole-wheat linguine
  • 1/4 cup bottled Szechuan sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-cut green onions

INGREDIENTS–BROCCOLI

  • About 1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

PREPARATION

1.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2.  Combine fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, lime juice and olive oil in a large bowl.  Add chicken, toss to coat.

3.   Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Grill, about  4 minutes/side or until done.  Remove from grill, cover and keep warm.

The chicken could also be cooked indoors on an electric grill, or on the stove-top in a grill-pan.

4.  Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain well.  Combine Szechuan sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add noodles, carrots, and green onions; toss and serve with chicken.

5.  For the broccoli:  Add water to a saucepan to a depth to 1-inch.  Add broccoli florets, bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes until crisp-tender.  Place broccoli in a medium bowl.  Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds,  kosher salt and  black pepper. Toss well.

SOURCE:   Cooking Light   for both Glazed chicken thighs and Szechuan noodles.

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