Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Recipe Cook: Spiralized Vietnamese Cucumber Salad.....with Chicken!

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

Leave it to me to add meat to a vegetarian dish.

Like everyone, Alexis and I are trying to eat a little healthier as we get older.  Last night, we were going to make this Vietnamese Cucumber Noodle Salad from the May 2019 issue of Eating Well magazine.  It is spiralized cucumbers and carrots tossed in a version of nuoc cham and topped with cilantro and peanuts.  I just had to add some grilled chicken breast.  

I wanted to give the chicken a little Asian flair, but I didn't have time for a marinade, so I improvised.  I used Albukirky Green Chile Rub, which is Southwestern US, but with salt, pepper, chiles, and garlic, it isn't too big a stretch for Asian.  I took 1 tablespoon of the rub and added a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of Olde Virden's Spicy Verde for heat.  I seasoned two butterflied chicken breasts with that, and the flavor was passable as Asian.

My "weapon of choice" for this small cook was the Big Green Egg Mini-Max.  A small kamado (13-14") grill is perfect for small amounts like this, plus the grill heats up quickly and doesn't use much coal at all.  

My set up was a Kick Ash Basket full of Parker's Tennessee Hardwood Charcoal, a woo ring, and a stock BGE cast iron grate
I grilled the butterflied chicken breasts halves for about 6 minutes a side at 450°f until they registered 155°f on my Thermapen.  Butterflied thin like this, they will cook all the way through on the carryover cooking, so I pull them a bit early to keep them juicy.

So we made the salad as written and just topped it with this spicy grilled chicken.

I'm not a huge fan of cucumber, but this was surprisingly good.  I want to use the cucumber noodles and make some kind of gyro salad with some seasoned ground beef, shaved red onion, and tzatziki sauce.