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Chinese Hot and Sour Chicken Noodle Salad

1 whole chicken breast (about 1 1/4 pound), split
8 ounces dry linguine
1 tablespoon peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chiles
3 tablespoons salad oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cucumber, thinly sliced

In a 5-6 quart pan, bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add
chicken, cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand,
covered, until meat is white in thickest part, about 20-25 min.
Lift out chicken, let cool and reserve water. Remove and discard
skin and bones; tear chicken into bite-size shreds.

Bring water to a boil and add linguine. Boil, uncovered, until just
tender to bite, 6-8 min. Drain; immerse in cold water until cool,
then drain well again. Remove any debris from peppercorns. In a
6-8" frying pan, toast peppercorns over med-low heat until fragrant,
2-3 min.; shake pan often. Pour peppercorns into a blender and
whirl until finely ground.

Add chiles and oil to pan; cook over low heat until chiles just
begin to brown, about 3 min. Let cool and add ground pepper, vinegar,
soy sauce and cilantro. On a shallow dish, arrange a bed of noodles;
cover with cucumber and chicken. Pour dressing evenly over salad
and mix to blend.


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