Week One Down

Whew.  This was my first week back at work with kids and all.  I had forgotten just how hard it is to get everyone out of the house on time!  It meant that I was throwing things together for dinner- I did my planning and all but, somehow, I was just more exhausted at the end of the day.  I’ll put it this way, if I were single and without children, it would have been a cold cereal and toast for dinner kind of week.

But, tonight.  Well, it’s Friday which is Shabbat and after my years of eating at my grandmother’s table on Friday nights as well as my time in Israel, it’s kind of ingrained in me that you eat a real meal on Friday night.  So I gathered my strength and cooked.

I had recently (Ok, a few weeks ago) tried a maple-soy glazed chicken recipe from Cooking Light.  It was really good.  I had some chicken thighs to use up as well as a bunch of vegetable odds and ends.  Rooting around in the pantry, I found some udon noodles.  Ah, a dish was born.

Maple-Soy Chicken and Vegetable Noodles

(Adapted- ever so slightly- from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 scant cup lemon juice

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon peeled, grated (fresh) ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer, though you’d probably only need 2-3 of them)

Whatever vegetables you can find.  I used broccoli, onion, carrot, green beans and mushrooms.  Garlic would be nice, as would celery, bok choy, peppers, etc.

1 package udon noodles

Directions

In a bowl, mix together the syrup, soy, lemon juice, ginger, and sesame oil.  Add the chicken, turning it a few times to ensure that it gets coated and is mostly submerged in the marinade.  You could also use a zip-lock bag.  Cooking Light says to let it marinate an hour but I did it for less.

Raw chicken really isn’t that pretty, huh?

Set a big pot of water on to boil.  Salt it liberally.  Once it’s boiling, add your udon noodles (or spaghetti or whatever you want) and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender but not mushy.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies.  I threw the broccoli, green beans and carrots into a steamer basket so that I could partially cook them before I put them in with the rest.  I steamed them in a pot of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes or until they were tender but still crisp, not mushy.

The onions and mushrooms I did not steam.   Instead I left them by themselves to cook in the wok.

*Once I was done with all the vegetable prep,  I cut up my chicken into somewhat more bite-sized pieces.  I tossed the pieces quickly in cornstarch which is a totally optional and somewhat unnecessary step.   Don’t dump the marinade!  Put it in a saucepan and let it boil for several minutes, so as to kill off any yucky leftover from the raw chicken.

I cooked the chicken in the wok, then took it out.  I added the onions and mushrooms to the wok and once they had softened, I added the crisp-tender veggies.  I threw the chicken back in, along with the boiled marinade and the udon noodles.  I tossed it all together and let it heat up.

It was quite delicious, if I do say so myself.  Both my mom and my husband agreed.  The toddler was reserving judgement but did enjoy the plain udon noodles.  Go figure.

* The lack of photos from this point on is due to a cranky toddler, screaming from hunger baby and underfoot dog and cat.  Sometimes that’s my life.

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