Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tasty Noodles & a Side Dish

I fixed these noodles once about 8 years ago and then for whatever reason, I never did it again. They were definitely good enough that the recipe stuck with me, but somehow I never had all the correct things at the same time, or it never crossed my mind. I can't remember if I put chicken in it last time, but I had some I needed to use up. For this, a slightly under-ripe avocado is best because the firmness will stand up to a bit of frying better.

Chicken- I used 5 tenders
1/3 red bell pepper, in small dice
4 green onions, both tops & bottoms chopped fine
1/2 avocado, diced
Olive oil, salt & pepper

I usually take some frozen chicken parts, salt and pepper them, and dash on some olive oil before leaving them in the fridge until I remember to eat them. It's a good generic prep for anything I can think of, and it makes the meat tender and flavorful without much thinking. So I had some of those.

Use some type of wide noodles- papardelle, linguini, etc. Farfale would be ok, but I don't like those.  Have those cooking (about 3 servings worth, 2 if you have big appetites) in salted water while you do the other things.

Brown the chicken bits in a medium-high skillet. Heat some oil in the pan, then put in the chicken in a single layer. Let it brown without moving it, then flip once and let it sit for a couple seconds. If you use tenders the way I do, they'll already be done when you flip 'em, cooking the other side is just for looks. Take out the chicken and set it aside, and if the pan is pretty dry, add some more oil, about a tablespoon. Then brown the peppers and onions. Remember to add a sprinkle of salt to encourage them to brown. Add the avocados toward the end so they get cooked, but don't have time to turn into mush. When it's looking pretty good, but before the stuff stuck to the pan goes black, tear up the chicken and put it back in along with any juices that have accumulated, and throw the cooked noodles on top. Add a good shake of pepper and another pinch of salt if it needs it, turn off the heat and stir it around until the brown stuff has come off the pan.

You know what I forgot? Pine nuts. There should have been pine nuts in it. Dang. Oh well. If you use those, put them in the pan at the end of the part where you brown the peppers and onions.

I had beets & basil with it. No secrets there, just beets, fresh basil,  and a pinch of the white parts from those green onions I was using. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. But I do want to add that cooking beets in the microwave is super convenient and I don't know why I never did it before. Just stab some holes in them so they don't blow up, and put them in a covered container with a half inch of water. 4 smallish beets took 3 rounds of 3 minutes at full power. Brilliant!

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