Burmese-Style Noodles with Chicken and Coconut
Coconut milk adds a subtle richness to these Burmese-inspired noodles, while lime juice and zest add bright flavor to the dish. For an authentic touch, top each serving with slices of hard-boiled egg and chopped green onion. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, use a fry pan to heat the ingredients as indicated on the stove top, then transfer the contents of the fry pan to the slow cooker after stirring in the onion puree and salt.
- 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 6 large thighs)
- Kosher salt
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced, plus 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 heaping Tbs. peeled and chopped fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 can (13 1/2 fl. oz./420 ml) coconut milk, shaken well before opening
- Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) fresh Chinese wheat noodles or spaghetti
- Finely grated lime zest (optional)
Season the chicken with salt. In a blender, combine the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the broth and process until pureed.
Put a flameproof slow-cooker insert on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until well browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in the turmeric, paprika and cayenne, mixing well. Slowly pour in the remaining 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) broth while stirring constantly. Then add the onion puree and 1/2 tsp. salt and mix well.
Transfer the insert to the slow cooker, add the chicken and turn the pieces to coat with the broth mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. The chicken should be very tender and opaque throughout.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When it is just cool enough to handle, bone the chicken and discard the bones and any fat or gristle. Shred the meat into bite-size chunks with your fingers or 2 forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, add the coconut milk and lime juice, and stir to mix well. Re-cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes to warm the chicken and the sauce through.
While the chicken and sauce are reheating, prepare the noodles according to the package directions.
Put the noodles in a large bowl, add the chicken and sauce, and stir together to mix well. Sprinkle with the lime zest and serve immediately, passing lime wedges at the table. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2014)