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I love some great Chinese food, however it can get spend. So I decided to make my own. I started with a generic recipe and it has evolved into my favorite meal that I often bring to work pot lucks and family functions, never failing to impress.

This meal should feed 5 as a main course easily. However as a side dish this recipe has made enough for a larger gathering as well, when in doubt though make more and eat it for leftovers.

My favorite aspect of this meal is that it takes 20 minutes from walking in the door until it's ready. 30 minutes possibly on your initial attempt. Additionally it has a great spicy heat but incredible flavor, so there is no sacrifice of flavor for heat.


As a side note, this requires no special cooking skills, as I have none. Just the basics of measuring ingredients, boiling water, and the ability to stir/mix. That's about it. So with that, let's get started...

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients and Equipment

First thing first, gather your ingredients and kitchen equipment. One of the first mistakes I made was simply lay out the ingredients and scramble through out the entire process so that stuff won't burn. So first lesson, prep everything so you can add them in an instant.

For this meal you will need:

Sauce:

3 tsp Sesame Oil
4 tbs Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic (or 1.5 tsp pre-chopped garlic in a jar)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2/3 cup Soy Sauce (light soy sauce works just as well)
1-2 tsp of creamy peanut butter

Chicken & Veggies:

2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tsp pre-chopped garlic in a jar)
2 Chicken Breasts (Frozen or Fresh)
1 tsp Thai Chili Sauce (Or Sriracha Chili sauce)
2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice (common in most Asian food sections at the store)
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables (I used snap pea mix this time, but prefer broccoli stir fry)
Chives (Fresh or dried)

Noodles:

1 lb of boxed linguine noodles
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Water for the pot

Equipment:

Small sauce pan
Various measuring spoons
A small measuring cup that can hold 2/3 cup
Spatula (one for turning and one for scraping)
Larger pot that will fit the pasta
Frying pan
Strainer
Pasta Ladle (or pasta fork)

Step 2: Prep Work & Turning Up the Heat

Lets turn on the heat and start up the essentials...

- Start by adding a the olive oil and chicken to the frying pan. Keep the temp low to medium (especially with a cast iron skillet as they retain heat quite well). As I use frozen chicken breasts, i will let them thaw on the pan for a while, flip them, and then use my spatula to cut them up into small chunks while they are still cooking.

- Next add enough water to your pot that will cook your 1 lb of pasta noodles. I usually fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full. Also add your red pepper flakes to the water. This will help season the noodles so they have flavor and not rely entirely on the sauce. Place the pot on the burners on high.

Continue prep work...

So as stated before, preparation helps a lot. While we work on the chicken and pasta water we can spend time getting the rest ready. So start off by ensuring you have enough measuring spoons laid out and next to the item you need it for. For the "non-sauce" items i typically just estimate and turns out great. I measure for the sauce as I get too over zealous with the cayenne pepper at times.

I also measure out the soy sauce pre-emptively as this helps prevent burning your garlic in a pinch.

Step 3: Seasoning the Chicken

At this point we need to ensure the chicken is soft enough we can cut through it with the spatula. You could always pull it out and cut it (or even pre-cut it), however this way works wonders for me. Once you have cubed the chicken into the desirable sizes you can add the rest of the chicken seasoning:

2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tsp pre-chopped garlic in a jar)
1 tsp Thai Chili Sauce (Or Sriracha Chili sauce)
2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice (common in most Asian food sections at the store)

This will help keep the chicken flavorful in it's own right, rather than depend on the sauce for all of it. Continue to let it cook until there is no more pink in the chicken and most of the liquid in the pan is gone.


During that final cooking we can start the sauce...

Step 4: Creating the Sauce

As the noodle water approaches boiling, and your chicken chunks are finishing up you can start the sauce.

-Start off by adding the 4 tbs of olive oil and 3 tsp of sesame oil to a small sauce pan and turn it on medium heat.

-Next, after the oil gets hot, add the garlic to the mix. They should bubble a bit when added. If they start turning brown, add a bit of soy sauce from your pre-measured 2/3 cup to lessen the heat.

-Add the toasted sesame seeds and cayenne pepper into the mix, give it a small stir with your scraping spatula.

-Slowly pour in the remaining soy sauce into the pan and give it another stir.

-Finally add the 1-2 tsp of peanut butter (I use a metal spoon and just rest it in the plate and the peanut butter falls right off the spoon once it warms up.) Give it a stir to melt in that peanut butter.

You can now turn down this burner to low and its ready for the final mix...

Step 5: Stir Fry & Noodle Time

Your chicken should finally be fully cooked and ready to go, so just go ahead and dump the frozen bag of stir fry into the frying pan and stir it up. It will sit like this for a little while while it cooks, just occasionally stir it and help those veggies get nice and cooked.

Additionally, by now your water is boiling. Go ahead and dump in the noodles into the pot and cook them until they are just right. By just right, i mean a sample taste doesn't stick to your teeth when you bit into them.

Once the noodles have cooked, strain them and put them back in the pot, but don't put them back on the burner. Just put the pot with noodles on a pot holder on the counter.

Your stir fry should be nice and hot as well, which means its time for the final step, mixing!

Step 6: Mix It All Together

Now that all the noodles are done, and your stir fry is complete just dump the stir fry and chicken into the pot with the noodles.

Next, stir the sauce, then add the sauce to the pot, ensuring your use your scraping spatula to get all that goodness onto the noodles and not left in the pan.

Give the entire mixture a good mixing, ensuring everything is coated, and then dump it into a serving dish (or simply serve it from the pot). Sprinkle with a bit of chives and you have a meal ready to eat.

Step 7: Enjoy

Next step,

Get a drink and gather your family and/or friends at the table for a home cooked meal.

My 3 year old boy loves the noodles and isn't too spicy for him with a cup of milk nearby. Which is odd as it makes a few of our noses run from the heat. So it is a great all around meal.

If it needs a bit more spice to your liking, I sometimes add a bit more cayenne pepper to to the top of my portion and it gets just right.

I hope you all like it, and would love to see how yours turns out, what you changed, and all. Again, this started from a generic recipe that evolved through experimentation and I am very happy with the results.

It was good but I'd definitely recommend low sodium soy sauce. Way too salty otherwise.

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