Sooo… It started when I asked my son “What do you want for dinner tonight?”. Immediate answer: “Macaroni & Cheese” Translation: Bright orange and from a box of course. Confession: I do have a weakness for the boxed Mac & Cheese, and I do make it better than anyone*, but…. it’s not exactly a healthy dinner.
I countered with a No on that one, and he says “Then, Noodles.”
Noodles I can do. Mentally cataloging my pantry, I remember a package of the super thin rice noodles. Meat-wise, I have a package of chicken tenderloins in the fridge. Veggies check in at fresh zucchini and some frozen edamame. I’m seeing an Asian inspired meal in our future. A one dish, serve in the pan meal that won’t require a lot of dishes to wash later.
Yes, this is yet again one of Dot’s annoyingly approximate recipes**. Really, you don’t have to measure this stuff that exactly to get a good meal, so don’t stress over it.
Peanut Chicken with Noodles and Zucchini
- 1 package very thin rice sticks (mine was 6.75 oz)
- ~1 lb chicken tenderloins
- ~1 cup (whatever I had left in the package) frozen shelled edamame.
- 2 zucchinis, sliced into rounds
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed & coarsely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I like Simply Jif)
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar (seasoned)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Teas cornstarch
In a ziplock bag***, spoon in a big glob of peanut butter, and add equal parts soy sauce and seasoned rice vinegar (a couple of splashes of each–maybe 2 Tbls?) You’re looking for enough liquid to thin out the peanut butter so it can coat the chicken. Squish the peanut butter around in the baggie until it’s mixed in, and add your chicken tenders. Smush the marinate around the tenders until they are coated. Set aside. Let marinate for ~ 30 min if you can.
Soak your noodles in hot tap water for 10-20 min. Drain. Noodles should be soft but al dente.
Prep your veggies, sprinkle your zucchini a little kosher salt.
Saute your onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft, and maybe a little brown.
Remove onion/garlic (or push to the side, and add your chicken strips. Cook for several minutes on each side until just cooked through, and nicely browned. Remove from chicken from pan.
Add your zucchini (and a little more oil if necessary), and stirfry on med-high 2-3 min until the zucchini is browned but still a little underdone. Add any remaining marinade & 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and steam over med heat for several more minutes until the zucchini is soft. Add the rest of the broth (mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch). (optional: add a dash of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime) Stir, and toss in your noodles and frozen edamame. Continue stirring and cooking until noodles have absorbed the liquid.
Turn off the stove, top with Chicken, cover, and let sit for a few minutes.
Take the whole pan to the table, and serve family style!
* I have a secret method. One day I’ll share it with you, if you’re nice.
**They tend to be approximate because I’m always experimenting in the kitchen
*** I know, I know, not environmentally friendly. But it’s seriously the best way to marinate with the least amount of liquid, and no extra dishes to wash.