I am ashamed. That I have kept this most delicious, most divine of delightful recipes from you is nothing short of unforgivable. I KNOW I've mentioned it before, as it is one of my most favorite meals, and would definitely rank quite high on my list of most-loved Rachael Ray recipes, but I've never written it up properly.
Cold Chicken Satay Noodles made its first appearance in Everyday with Rachael Ray, two summers ago. As I am immediately taken in by any sort of combination of peanuts, soy sauce, and lime, I decided I had to try it. I love good recipes that employ the use of ever practical, ever flavorful rotisserie chicken, too. There's also the presence of the whole wheat pasta, something I am forever trying to incorporate into our weekly menus because we tend to eat pasta so much, and I know it's much more nutritious than traditional pasta. It's only one of two pasta dishes featuring whole wheat pasta that my SH will deign to eat. I suppose the peanutty sauce successfully masks (for the SH) what I consider to be a comforting, satisfying whole-grain flavor.
I am not at all exaggerating when I confess to you that I have been known to eat a heaping bowl of these noodles for breakfast. There have been days when I've eaten it happily for lunch AND dinner. It's possible I might have snuck out of my bed in the middle of the night and had a forkful or two, standing with no guilt whatsoever in front of the fridge with the door open, in a dark kitchen. IT IS THAT GOOD.
Cold Chicken Satay Noodles, adapted from Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book, by Rachael Ray (also featured in Everyday with Rachael Ray, June/July 2007)
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (I always use smooth, and I always use 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup warm water (eyeball it)
1/4 cup tamari (Rach uses tamari almost exclusively, and I find that I'm so accustomed to it by now that I like its taste better than regular soy sauce. Also, I've been known to shake in a bit more to taste)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (I've decided to dispense with the garlic clove-sometimes raw garlic is just a bit too strong for me. I've made the dish both ways, and I do prefer it without the garlic.)
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Excepting the picture above, I use Cholula, and again, I've been known to toss in a bit more than a tsp)
3 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil (eyeball it)
A handful of shredded carrots (I take a shortcut here, buying the bags of pre-shredded carrots. Leftovers can be used for salads or, if you're like me, when you make the recipe AGAIN less than two weeks later!)
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle (There have been times when I didn't have scallions, and I didn't feel I was missing too much)
1 cup fresh spinach, thinly sliced (Sometimes I slice up a few more handfuls. Makes me feel virtuous!)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 cups shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water liberally, then add the pasta and cook until al dente. Run the cooked pasta under cold water to cool. Drain well.
2. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the peanut butter in the microwave in 10-second intervals until softened. Place in a large bowl with the honey and warm water. Whisk in the tamari, garlic, lime juice, and hot sauce, and whisk in the oil in a slow stream.
3. Add the noodles, veggies, and peanuts to the bowl and toss until the ingredients are well mixed. Serve the noodles in shallow bowls topped with the chicken and cilantro.
Note: I always mix the chopped chicken in with the noodles and veggies. It's just easier that way, soaking up more sauce and lending itself to family-style serving. I've also determined that it's best (for me, anyway) to make the peanut sauce in a Pyrex measuring cup (I use my 2-cup size), pouring it over the noodles, veggies, and chicken after they've already been mixed in the bowl.
Dear loyal few, please forgive me for keeping this one to myself for so long.
P.S. These pictures are crummy, but in all fairness, I took them months ago, before I was better with my flash or was able to use my SH's awesome camera.