While crisped-in-a-pan leftover roast chicken is great in salads, and poached chicken is healthy and succulent, the method I use here is one of my go-tos for feeding a horde of hungry children. It also saves you from turning on the oven and produces the most deliciously browned results. Let me know how you get on.
Crispy chicken thigh, asparagus and cucumber salad with peanut dressing
Crisp, crunchy, spicy, sticky, with a handful of spring-time greens for good measure, and ideal for eating alfresco.
Prep 10 min
Cook 40 min
4 large chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and grated
3 limes, plus extra wedges to serve
1 large bunch asparagus (about 350g)
100g soba noodles
150g fresh or frozen peas
1 cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and sliced at an angle
1 big handful coriander leaves
1 small handful mint leaves
1 big handful salted peanuts, roughly chopped, to serve
For the dressing
15g ginger, peeled and grated
50g smooth peanut butter
2 tsp honey
2 tsp sriracha (or other chilli sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Season the chicken generously. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat, pour in the oil and lay in the thighs skin side down. Fry gently for about 25 minutes, pouring off any excess fat as it is released and turning down the heat if the skin colours too much. Turn the thighs, add half the garlic and, after a minute, the juice of one lime, and cook for another five to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and golden.
Meanwhile, snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus and cut the spears into quarter lengths. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to packet instructions, adding the asparagus and peas for the final few minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Blitz all the dressing ingredients, the remaining garlic, the zest and juice of the two remaining limes and a tablespoon of water with a stick blender. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more honey or chilli sauce, if you need more sweetness or heat.
Once the chicken is cooked, take the meat off the bone and roughly shred along with the crispy skin. Arrange the noodles, asparagus and peas on a serving plate and scatter over the cucumber and chicken. Rip over the herbs, drizzle with the peanut dressing, sprinkle over the peanuts and serve immediately with a little extra chilli sauce on the side and a bundle of lime wedges.