Coconut Poached Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Mint and Vermicelli Noodles

I have adapted this recipe from several different poached chicken salad recipes over the years. I like to utilise the poaching liquid with all its flavour and coconutty goodness as part of the salad dressing.
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This recipe is great for family-style eating on a warm spring or summers day, and goes beautifully by itself or along side other Vietnamese dishes such as Banh Xeo (Viet Crepes), Stir Fry, or grilled fish or other seafood dishes.

You will need...
For the poached chicken
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 lemongrass stem, bruised
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbs fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
300gr chicken breast or thigh, trimmed

For the salad
1 small packet of vermicelli rice noodles
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 bunch of fresh vietnamese mint, washed
1 bunch of fresh coriander, washed
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
1 large red chilli, thinly sliced
1 large green chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
150gr bean shoots, washed
1/4 cup shredded or shaved coconut

For the dressing
1 cup of the cooking liquid
2 limes, juiced

1. Place all the poaching ingredients together (without the chicken) in a medium, heavy based saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil, then add the chicken, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
2. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the liquid and leave to rest on a plate for 5 minutes before shredding into thick pieces.
3. For the dressing, take 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reduce by half. Add the lime juice and stir. Set aside to cool.
4. To make the salad, cover the raw noodles in boiling water and leave to soften for 3 minutes, strain and place under cold running water to cool quickly. Dress them with sesame oil to stop from sticking.
5. Rip the coriander and mint leaves from the stalks and, with your hands, carefully mix all together with the noodles, carrot, chilli, bean shoots and half of the shredded chicken.
6. Add the dressing and toss to coat, then place on a serving platter and roughly scatter the rest of the cooked chicken around the top of the salad.
7. To finish, place the shredded/shaved coconut into a hot, clean non-stick frypan and toss on medium-high until golden and crisp. Scatter over the salad to garnish, with some extra coriander leaves. Serve immediately


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