Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Morning Chaos, Sesame Chicken And Noodle Bowls

I have a wonderful recipe to share today, but first I need to vent! I've had such a chaotic morning that I want to scream. Our morning routine is pretty tight around here, so I like it carried out with military-like precision and efficiency. I haven't built in any extra time for last minute mishaps and this morning was full of them.

I got the ball rolling by thinking I could take an extra minute to sip my coffee and read a page or two of my book before I dried my hair. Big mistake! I got engrossed in my book and lost track of time. That put me behind schedule to begin with, and because it is very humid today, my hair took twice as long to dry.

The kids got up on time, but my son couldn't find a shirt to wear and the jeans I thought I washed for my daughter were still in the dirty clothes basket along with her only hooded waterproof jacket (it was raining this morning). Lunch took longer to pack than usual and my daughter had a problem with her shoes when it was time to leave for school.

In the end, my son found a shirt, my daughter wore a different pair of jeans and a jacket with no hood (the rain stopped so it wasn't a big deal) and the shoe problem was fixed. Everyone got to school on time. I'm back home with my second cup of coffee and all is well. Still, I can't wait until school is out for the summer.

Now, let's get cooking!

Sesame Chicken and Noodle Bowls

I have quite a large collection of recipes for different stir-frys and Asian foods, but this is one of our favorites. It's quick and easy to put together, so it's perfect for a week night meal. It's a little spicy, but you can adjust the heat to your liking by adding more or less chile paste. I made it without vegetables last night, but I like to add bell peppers and banana peppers when I have them on hand. Broccoli, sugar snap peas, or baby corn are delicious in this dish, too. This recipe makes a large amount of sauce because it is meant to be served over noodles.

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin slices

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium is best)

  • 4 tablespoons (plus a drizzle) sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon hot chile paste

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • cornstarch and water* (for thickening)

  • 10 oz. package Chinese noodles** prepared according to package directions

  • sesame seeds

Slice chicken into thin slices. Preheat large non-stick skillet and add olive oil and a drizzle of sesame oil. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Mix remaining ingredients except thickeners, noodles and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Pour over chicken and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch and water slurry, stirring constantly, until desired thickness is reached. Serve in bowls over Chinese noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds.

*For thickening, use equal parts cornstarch and cold water and mix to form a slurry. I start with about 3-4 tablespoons of each (okay, I usually just eyeball it, but I've got to give you a starting point!). More may be added if needed.

**The noodles I use are simply called "Chinese Noodles" on the package label. The instructions call for rinsing them under running water after cooking. DO NOT skip this step or you will end up a sticky ball of noodles that are impossible to separate. I speak from experience!!


abby jenkins said...

That happened to me the other morning. I was working on location this week in Wyckoff, NJ, little over an hour away, and was running about 20 minutes early on Monday. Well to make a long story late, I mean short, I ended up getting on Facebook and posting to my blog, thinking I had all the time in the world... wel.... 45 minutes later!! I am rushing to get my butt out the door. Not to mention I had to stop and get gas. Good thing it was just a set up day.

I had to make up for the lost time on the back end, and got home late, we had take out for dinner that night :) but I will try your recipe tonight! thanks

Heidi said...

I had one of those mornings. Makayla's having Reading like a Rock Star week at school. One day they had to wear a rock star shirt, last night we had to read and not turn our tv on and today was dress like your favorite book character. I had her dressed and it was 5 minutes before bus time. She announced she wasn't dressed like a book character and couldn't go to school in her outfit. Now, how in the world do you dress like a book character? Finally she put on a dress and we said she was Junie B. Jones. At least it made her happy!

Those noodle bowls look so good. I need to buy some sesame oil so I can try this out! Could you use broth instead of wine? We don't keep wine handy. I had a good bottle of red wine for cooking and my husband kept sneaking it when I wasn't looking until it was all gone!

Willoughby said...

Abby - It's so easy to lose track of time when your online, isn't it? If you do make the recipe tonight, I hope you like it!

Heidi - I know how you feel, I always wonder who comes up with the "dress up" themes at school. We had "Dress Like A Hollywood Star" day. What does that mean? I don't want my nine year old dressing like most Hollywood stars!!

I think substituting chicken broth for the wine would work just fine!

L.B. said...

I am trying that recipe soon. Man, that looks appetizing!

As far as the summer and school, I'm with you. I can't wait for school to end so I can have less hectic mornings around here. I feel bad for feeling that way, like I'm being selfish, but that's how I feel. Why hide it?

For a while, I've been thinking about stir-fry meals and such, but I don't have a wok. Is it necessary to have a wok? I just don't know that I would use it that much, to be honest, though I would like to make stir fry meals now and again.

L.B. said...

Thanks for the response. I'm guessing the space it takes to store the wok probably wouldn't make it worth buying one. Forgot about factoring that in :)

Lissaloo said...

End of the year school projects are what drive me crazy, that & the ba-jillion field trips they have then. The noodles look so good!! I will be trying your recipe for sure very soon!! :)

Purple Flowers said...

I now have a hankering for that noodle dish. I love sesame oil; it adds such a tasty flavor.

And I agree: blogging does take alot of time away, but it's so fascinating to meet other people. Just like reading a page turner of a book; we all need a sweet diversion.

Talita said...

Yumm... I love sesame seeds! With chicken sounds delicious!