I now have 7 cucumbers harvested from the garden, patiently waiting in my kitchen to be used. While green salads are a great place for cucs, as are watercress sandwiches, for using LOTS of 'em we need a main course dish.
Bon Bon Chicken is my go-to main dish for cucumber season. My husband brought this recipe into our marriage with him. He got the original recipe from the Chinese cooking classes he took with Pansy and Chu-Yen Luke before we even met. We've modified it for our tastes. It does take some ingredients that many folks don't keep around their kitchen .... but since I DO keep them around it's not a problem for me. If gluten-free matters to you, it's easy to make this gluten free, you'll just have to make sure that your light soy sauce is gluten free.
BON BON CHICKEN SALAD
4 oz. bean thread
1 lb boneless chicken
1 lb. small cucumbers (think kirby, not 'salad' cucs)
1 Tbs salt
4 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, well chopped
4 Tbs Tahini
3 Tbs light soy sauce
3 Tbs Chinese black vinegar
4 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tbs chili oil .... or more to taste, but this is powerful.
If you're like me, and boning cheap leg quarters for the chicken, you'll get a pound from 2 meaty leg quarters. But the Chubby Hubby says that the Luke's adapted their REAL Chinese recipes by adding more meat, for American tastes, so reducing the meat may well be more authentic.
Soak the bean thread in water to cover for half an hour. While that soaks, bring a couple of cups of water to a boil, add the raw chicken, and simmer 'till it's cooked thru'. Take out the chicken and let it cool to room temperature, then cut it into thin and short strips. Salad size, you might say!
Cut the cucs the long way, then slice those halves the short way into thin slices. Remove water from them by sprinkling them with the salt and letting them sit while do make the salad dressing. You make the salad dressing by combining the rest of the ingredients. Squeeze the water from the cuc slices. If you are avoiding salt you might want to rinse them, too, I do.
Cut the hydrated bean thread 3 inches long. Drop them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Now everything goes into a big serving dish and gets tossed, plated, and eaten.