You’re not going to believe the crunch on this chicken… and all without deep frying! Served on top of a fresh and vibrant salad, this is the weeknight dinner of champions. Keep your chicken nice and dry before you start with the seasoning – moisture is the enemy of crispiness!
180g (6 oz) dried rice vermicelli noodles
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 skin-on chicken thigh fillets
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ small wombok (Napa cabbage), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small cucumber, sliced
½ cup mint leaves
3 tbsp roasted peanuts, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 bird’s eye chillies
1 tbsp finely shaved palm sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp lime juice
To make the Thai-style dressing, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and chillies to a rough paste. Then add the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Soak the rice vermicelli noodles in hot water for 2 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under water until cool. Use scissors to roughly cut noodles into more manageable lengths. Set aside for later.
Toss the cabbage and cucumber with a pinch of salt and use your hands to mix and massage the salt into the vegetables. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then squeeze them dry and add them to the cooked noodles.
For the chicken, pat chicken pieces dry with paper towel. Season with salt and add the turmeric and pepper. Mix well. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil, then add the chicken pieces skin side down. Place a sheet of baking paper over the top. Then place another heavy pan on top to evenly press down on the chicken. Cook for 12 minutes or until a golden, crispy crust forms. Then turn chicken over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Drain on paper towel and then slice.
Just before serving, toss the noodles and vegetables with the dressing and mint. Divide among serving bowls and top with the crispy chicken and sprinkle with the peanuts.