PREP TIME: 15 minutes TOTAL TIME: 45 minutesIf you can pronounce tahini (it’s ta-HEE-nee, rhymes with bikini),
you can make these noodles. OK, even if you can’t, you’ll ace
them, because few things in this book are so good and so frigging
easy. There’s even a magic chicken breast that you cook in hot
water off the flame. Then you cook the pasta in the same water
before you coat the cold pasta in a sticky, nutty dressing and
realize you can pull off this dish smoothly without taking a Xanax.Kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 ounces dried fettuccine
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup peanut oil
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 scallions, thinly slicedFill a large saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil
over high heat. Salt it so that it tastes good, add the chicken
breast, and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the
chicken sit until cooked but very tender, about 15 minutes. (If
you’re using 2 smaller breasts, decrease the time by about 3
minutes.) Remove the chicken from the water (don’t throw the
water away! You’ll see why in a minute) and cut into it to check its
doneness; if it’s still a little pink, return it to the water for another
minute or two. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it rest while
you cook the noodles.
Bring the water the chicken was cooked in back to a boil over high
heat. Add the fettuccine and cook to al dente according to the
package directions. Drain, rinse the pasta in cold water until cool,
then shake it dry in a colander.
While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, whisk together 1
teaspoon of the sesame oil, the peanut oil, tahini, soy sauce,
vinegar, chili oil, honey, cayenne, and garlic until smooth.
Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and use a clean paper towel
to gently pat the noodles as dry as is actually reasonable. Toss
the noodles with the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
Shred the chicken with your hands or chop it into bite-size pieces
and add it to the noodles. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
Garnish with the scallions.