Bill Granger’s Spicy Chicken Noodle Salad

By Jessica – February 27th, 2009

This was originally written for a recipe review website which never got off the ground. The article has been sitting on my hard drive for almost two years, so I thought I’d post it up here for fun. And who knows, maybe this will be the start of a recipe review section on Principia Gastronomica...

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Cashew Salad from Every Day by Bill Granger

Spicy chicken and noodle salad

I was led to this recipe through my desperate inability to decide what to cook for dinner.

It had been a beautiful, sunny day. Jeremy was away so I hit the town, treating myself to lunch in a nice café and a spot of shopping. As the afternoon pushed on towards evening, I resigned myself to the fact that I had to go grocery shopping, even though I had no clue what I wanted to eat.

The weather was warm, so I craved something light and fresh, but I couldn’t face yet another lettuce-based salad. None of my usual solitary-meal fallbacks (lentils and their assorted leguminous brethren) really appealed, so I just wandered up and down the supermarket aisles, aimlessly picking things up and putting them down again.

I eventually made my way to a small display of cookbooks to look for inspiration, and I found it in the form of Australia’s Bill Granger. I have a soft spot for Bill Granger because he reminds me of the fabulous time I had in Australia (and of the drool-worthy ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter that I scoffed at one of his cafés in Sydney). Besides that, I think his cookbooks are gorgeous—they’re total food-porn/lifestyle-porn tomes í  la Jamie Oliver. And besides that, Bill had pulled through for me once before with his caramel salmon recipe, which is dead easy and dead tasty.

So I flipped through his Every Day cookbook and came across the recipe for Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Cashew Salad, which perfectly suited my needs. I had a bit of a dilemma then: should I buy the cookbook (which I wanted, but which was also on the pricey side), or should I just try to remember the recipe and work it out on my own at home? Opting for the latter, I bought the ingredients and headed for the homestead.

Once I got home, I did a little online research and found that a fellow food blogger had cooked the recipe and posted it to her own site—it was my lucky day! At the time of writing, the recipe can also be found on Google’s Book Search, and there’s a nice-looking variation on the Kitchen Wench blog as well.

My only variation was to throw in some beansprouts, which added a fresh crunch. But the recipe is terrific as written, with a lovely balance of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy flavors and a good proportion of chicken to noodles. It’s tasty, healthy and filling—perfect for a warm day in Sydney or wherever you happen to be.


Not a fan of the cucumber. What to do?

# Posted by Mark MacKay on

You could replace it with something else fresh and crunchy: beansprouts, snow peas, shredded cabbage, pak choy, sliced peppers, grated carrots… The cucumber really isn’t the critical ingredient; it’s the combination of textures and the sweet and spicy dressing that makes the dish so enjoyable.

# Posted by Jessica on

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