My daughter and I have a tradition.
Every time my husband goes out of town on business, I have to make something we can eat with chopsticks off of the Asian-inspired dishes that generally live their lives unused, tucked away on the top shelf of a little-used cabinet.
It all started one year ago exactly with this recipe for Birds Eye® Teriyaki Chicken I made for Allrecipes for an Allstar assignment and apparently never blogged about. My husband was out of town- Minnesota? Utah? Arizona? lol he's gone maybe 6 weeks out of the year and I honestly can't remember where he was this time last year- anyway, he was somewhere in this great nation, and my daughter and I ate with chopsticks out of the dishes I never use.
Forget that we can eat with chopsticks whenever we want. Forget that those dishes are always available if we want to pull them down from their cabinet. This was a special Mommy/Daughter thing to her. A tradition was born, and now every single time my husband is out of town she asks me when we can eat with chopsticks.
Special and super easy!
Veggies, a protein, and sauce. I literally have an entire shelf of my pantry dedicated to grains, everything from farro to spelt, barley to quinoa, brown rice to basmati.
Do you think she wants any of those things?
Nope! lol You may notice from the pictures that according to my daughter all stir fry must be served over ramen noodles. But honestly...who doesn't like ramen noodles? I'm ok with it. Kind of adds to the charm of our little meal.
This week, I found myself single parenting again while my husband attended to business meetings and such in Colorado and, as usual, my daughter asked for stir fry and chopsticks. I've tried out lots of recipes for stir fry over the years- it's not exactly rocket science! I really wanted to try something new this time, though, and stumbled across this recipe for Citrus Chicken Stir Fry. I love the idea of using orange marmalade (side note: I freaking love orange marmalade....), and I was even able to use the Splenda® sweetened variety that Smuckers makes.
I messed with it a little (cause you know...I'm me...), but not too much. My daughter and I really enjoyed this a lot- I'd say there's a very good chance we'll make this again for a future Mommy/Daughter Chopstick Dinner!
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 C water
1/2 C orange marmalade
1/3 C soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
2 packages ramen noodles, cooked and drained
1. Combine bouillon, water, orange marmalade, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, rice vinegar, minced ginger, black pepper, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until sauce reduces and thickens; about 20 minutes. Remove sauce from heat.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken in hot oil until golden, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, leaving oil in the pan.
3. Cook and stir the stir-fry vegetables in the same skillet used for the chicken until vegetables are almost tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add noodles, chicken, and sauce into vegetables and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.