A family that cooks together, stays together. Okay, maybe not, but it sounds reasonable. Kiddo and I have spent enough time in the kitchen together to have that rhythm – almost like a dance, each knowing the other’s style, steps and timing. As for Hubby, we do well together when I prep and he grills. In the kitchen, my Master Griller becomes all-thumbs – and to equate it to dancing, it’s more like a stomp. Hubby tends to want to clean before we are ready to clean. For example, I’ll chop a veggie, place it in the pan, leaving the chopping board and knife on the counter. When I reach for it again, he’s already washed, dried and put it all away. (After a lifetime of marriage, you would think he understood – on counter, going to use again – in sink, okay to wash).
Our kitchen is tiny – so when the three of us are all working together, having a flow is important, otherwise we end up stepping on each other. Work space in the kitchen is limited and predominantly on one side of the room in an up-side-down “L” shaped formation that includes the sink. Often the kitchen table becomes prep space whenever possible. This is especially true when chopping – each of us seated at the table with our assigned ingredients, boards and knives in hand. I love chopping together. It usually results in lively conversation, jokes and laughter. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear that “togetherness” is an added ingredient in the dish, making it even more memorable.
We all love stir fry dishes. While the cooking is quick, sometimes the prep work is a bit tedious. Oh, I know we could make it easier by purchasing the vegetables in packages, be it from the frozen section or in the produce section of the grocery store. While that’s all well and good, nothing beats fresh vegetables. Besides, creating our own chopped blend lets us decide what vegetables go into the stir fry and how much. Then there’s that whole time together thing going on . . . love that!
The beauty of this dish is that everything is cooked in a wok – making it a one-pot wonder. And the meal is complete – chicken, vegetables and noodles all cooked together. No need for additional sides. We like to use chop sticks when eating this dish, although truth be told none us is are proficient in the use of chop sticks. It’s just fun.
One last note – the vegetables used for this dish are the minimal amounts. Kiddo is not a big vegetable eater (so sad), so the recipe is more heavy toward the chicken and Ramen Noodles than the vegetables. You can always add more to the broccoli mix.
Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry with Ramen Noodles
1 ½ Cup Fresh Broccoli Florets
1 Cup Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Medium Carrot, coarsely chopped
¼ to ½ Teaspoon Ginger
3 Green Onions, sliced
1 Cup Snow Peas (optional)
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups of water
2 packages Chicken-Flavor Ramen Noodles
Diagonally slice green onion tops into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
Finely chop green onion base, set aside.
Zest 1 whole lemon, set zest aside. Slice lemon in half, set aside.
Break apart broccoli into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Coarsely chop carrots, mix with broccoli. Cut snow peas on an angle. Add to broccoli mixture. Set aside.
Core bell pepper. Cut into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Cut chicken into thin strips, set aside.
Heat wok over medium heat until hot. Lightly spray heated wok with cooking spray. Add chicken; stir-fry 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add ¼ teaspoon ginger, onion base and water; bring to a boil. Taste mixture, add remaining ¼ teaspoon ginger if needed. (Ginger is a personal thing – I always add the additional ginger.)
Add Ramen Noodles, broken into pieces and seasoning packs from noodles. Return to a boil; then reduce heat to medium.
Add broccoli mixture; stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until noodles are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Lower heat to simmer. Add bell pepper, green onion tops and lemon zest to skillet; toss and heat through.
Place Lemon Chicken Stir-fry onto large serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice from sliced lemon and serve immediately.
Oh, and one more advantage of cooking together is that I get to grab my camera and snap a few pictures to share with you. Hubby was kept so busy chopping that he didn’t start KP duty until everything was ready for the wok. Love it!