Simple ingredients and a fast and oh-so-delicious Asian peanut sauce come together in a savory winner of a dinner you will love for it’s ease and amazing flavors. No need for takeout when you can whip this yum up in a hurry! Fully customizable with cooked chicken and your favorite vegetables.
This recipe won second place by a very narrow margin in my Fan Favorites recipe contest! See Tami’s Frosted Banana Bars for the first place recipe so you can have award-winning, comfort food dinner AND dessert!
I was treated to this amazingness when visiting Melissa and I fell in LOVE with its flavors! Then she submitted it to the contest and I was thrilled because we got to enjoy it several times as I added a few touches of my own. That’s the beauty of this recipe — you can customize the sauce with flavors you like, and you can add whatever vegetables you have available in your house at the time! You can use rotisserie chicken or cook up some thighs or breasts if you have those available. You can use whatever noodles you have — Melissa’s recipe uses spaghetti or vermicelli, but personally, I’m a sucker for udon or rice noodles!
So, there are three easy elements, the noodles, the sauce, and the meat and vegetables. It’s very helpful to do all the prep in advance so once the cooking gets going, you can just go to it!
I like to dice 1 lb. of boneless chicken breasts or thighs quite small so I can flavor the chicken, but Melissa makes it with rotisserie chicken and that’s how I first fell in love with it, so feel free to skip my step if you’d like and just pull the already made chicken into bite sized pieces.
Next, slice and dice about 3 c. worth of bite-sized veggies to stir-fry in the hot pan. Broccoli, snap peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots, red/green peppers — whatever you have to use up in your fridge.
Also, prepare ahead the following and set aside:
I begin by heating 1/2 T. of sesame oil and 3 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and adding the diced chicken and sautéing until thoroughly cooked. When almost cooked through, I add 1 T. or so of soy sauce to the chicken to flavor it, then use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan to a large bowl.
Add a couple more Tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan and add in the 3 c. of stir fry veggies and stir occasionally to cook until fork-tender. Let me remind you not to stir the whole time! Lots of cooks stir too much and don’t let the food sit a bit a create texture and carmelization from being in contact with the hot pan. When they are the texture you like, remove the veggies from the pan and add them to the bowl with the cooked chicken.
Get a pot of water boiling to cook around 10-12 oz. of noodles (depending on which kind you choose) according to their package directions while you make the sauce! To the hot pan, add 1/2 c. chicken broth stirring to deglaze the pan (this is getting all the flavor bits that may be stuck to the bottom from cooking the chicken and veggies). Stir in 1/4- 1/2 c. soy sauce (this will be to taste and depend on the sodium level in the brand you choose, so start with less and be prepared to add more at the end to taste). Add in 2 T. fresh lime juice, 3 T. peanut butter, the garlic you minced, the ginger you minced, and 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (can be adjusted depending on your spice level preference). Heat through for several minutes and then taste your sauce and adjust flavors to your liking.
Now, turn the heat off and stir all of your chicken and veggies back in. Add the cooked noodles and toss all together. Put it into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped peanuts, green onions, and even cilantro if you like that nasty stuff — Melissa does so I have to add that little tidbit even though I think it’s disgusting. ;o)
And just like that, you have the kind of dinner you’re going to be tempted to eat way more than your fair share of! Share nicely, friends. After all, that is how I got you this stellar recipe!
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