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Chilled Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad

Poaching chicken in a peanut butter broth brings nuttiness into each bite. The flavorful poaching liquid then becomes the base for the dressing in this light, easy noodle salad.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Kosher salt

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 12 ounces), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Sriracha, or more as needed

4 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

6 ounces thin rice noodles (vermicelli)

1 romaine heart, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

2 Persian cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup loosely packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro (from about 1 medium bunch)

Lime wedges, for serving


  1. START THE WATER: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. POACH THE CHICKEN: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a simmer in a medium skillet. Whisk in the peanut butter, then add the chicken. Cook over medium-low heat at a bare simmer until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate; continue to simmer the sauce until thickened and reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in the vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, and scallions. Cool slightly.
  3. COOK THE NOODLES: Add the rice noodles to the boiling water and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain the noodles very well, tossing with tongs to release as much water as possible. Snip the noodles with scissors a few times to cut the long strands.
  4. TOSS THE SALAD: Toss the noodles with the romaine, cucumbers, bell pepper, half of the cilantro, and just enough dressing to coat. Season with salt. Divide among 4 bowls and top with the chicken. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top and garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.