The success of this dish relies on the quality of your chicken broth. I keep batches of it on hand in my freezer; made from other times when I've cooked up chickens with water and plenty of chopped onions, celery, carrots, and a coarsely chopped mid-sized head of garlic (a small head contains about 15 cloves; I throw the chopped garlic in skins and all).
Makes 2 servings.
2 chicken breast halves, skin removed/bones in (about 1-1/2 pounds total weight)
Using kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut each chicken breast half into two portions (since you'll be cutting through rib and breast bone, shears are very effective). Cut through at the meatiest portion of each breast so you end up with four relatively equal-sized portions. In a deep-sided, heavy-bottomed pot, brown the chicken pieces in the vegetable oil over medium-high heat, turning once to brown on both sides (note: skinless breast meat can be tricky to fry, tending to stick if you flip it too soon; be patient, once the meat has browned sufficiently, it practically releases from the pan bottom by itself). Reduce the heat slightly, remove the chicken pieces to a plate, then pour in the broth, stirring and scraping with a flat-sided utensil to dissolve all of the caramelized chicken juices.
Return the browned chicken pieces to the pot, and add the green onions, lemon slices, ginger root, chile-garlic sauce, and black pepper. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Add the sweet onion, cover, and continue simmering just until the chicken is tender and cooked, about another 10 or 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt if desired. The chicken may be prepared to this point up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.
Five or ten minutes before serving, bring the mixture to a boil, then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Add the yakisoba, breaking the soft block of noodles apart with a fork or spoon so they'll cook evenly and quickly in the broth (this only takes about 3 minutes). When the noodles are cooked, return the chicken pieces to the pot and heat through. Adjust seasonings. If you remember, fish out any remaining pieces of lemon (it will be almost disintegrated by now, though) before serving. Serve in large soup bowls or pasta bowls.
© 2002. Jan Roberts-Dominguez
©Oso Sweet Onions