(Yield: 24 servings)
2 chickens (about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds each), rinsed and cut in half
cornstarch, for dusting, as needed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying, asneeded
4 ounces rice stick noodles, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
3 1/2 cups Soy Dressing (recipe follows)
4 heads iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
8 green onions, white part only, slivered
1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup sesame seed, toasted
Bring 1 gallon water to boil in large pot. Add chicken and return to boil. Simmer chicken over medium heat 10 minutes (steam chicken over boiling water 10 minutes). Remove chicken and drain. Dust chicken with cornstarch; set aside. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 350°F. Add rice sticks in small batches. Deep-fry for only a few seconds until puffed but not browned. Drain on paper towels. Add chicken; deep-fry 7 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Drain well; cool slightly.
To make Mustard Paste: Mix mustard and water until smooth. Stir in sesame oil to make a smooth, shiny paste.
To assemble: Remove bones and skin from warm chicken and shred meat by hand or with cleaver. Place chicken on one side of large shallow mixing bowl. Place lettuce, carrots, cilantro, and green onions on other side of bowl. Drizzle Mustard Paste down sides of bowl around ingredients. Just before serving, toss chicken and lettuce mixture together, mixing in Mustard Paste to distribute it evenly. Add rice sticks, peanuts, and sesame seed; toss lightly. Divide salad equally among 24 plates. Spoon generous 2 tablespoons Soy Dressing over each serving.
To make Soy Dressing: In bowl, combine 2 cups hot chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups soy sauce, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced ginger and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate. (This can be done a few hours ahead to allow the flavors to develop.) Makes about 4 cups.
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