Yesterday I told my man Dave that I would make him one of his favorite meals; chicken fajitas. I bought everything that I would need, the peppers, chicken, a can of lovely smokey chipotle peppers and a lime. However, that plan changed when time got away from me. The problem is I insist on making the flour tortilla for the fajitas (once you do it this way, there is no going back I’m afraid; look for my chicken fajita & flour tortilla recipe in the search box to the right) and that step takes up a bit of time. Flour tortillas are a pleasure to make when you want to spend some leisurely time in the kitchen. It can be quite cathartic even. But, when there is a time crunch, and kids and adults alike are ready to kill each other due to starvation it is best to choose a quicker alternative. I for once made the sensible decision to rethink the menu.
I stood in the kitchen when the ingredients in front of me and wondered how to change what I was making without changing the ingredients? I had some lovely locally grown snow peas and I imagined them floating in a broth of some sort. I decided to use everything I would have used for the fajita along with the snow peas, only make a broth with water and stock, flavored with the chipotle peppers and lime juice. I also only used the yellow pepper to keep everything a golden color except for the vibrant green of the peas, and the dark red flecks of the chipotle peppers.
It was such an easy dinner to put together and I was amazed by the results. I was a little worried that I had made it too spicy for the kids but they completely loved the smokey heat. The udon noodles made a nice alternative to rice and we all slurped away contentedly until there was nothing left.
You will Need: 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces, 2 tbs olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, 1 yellow or sweet onion, diced, 1 big yellow pepper, cut into stripes, 2 cups snow peas, cut lengthways in half, 2 chipotle peppers (look in search box to the side of my blog to find out more about chipotle peppers), diced with a little of the sauce from the can, 1 vegetable or chicken bouillon cube, 5 cups water, 6 oz udon noodles,
1 – Put big saute pan on medium/low heat and add the oil. when it has warmed add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 7 or so minutes. Add pepper and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
2 – Add chipotle pepper and stir. Continue to cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
3 – Add bouillon cube and water and bring to a simmer. Add the snow peas, cover and simmer on gentle heat for 5 minutes.
4 – Add chicken and cover. Continue to simmer gently for 12 or so minutes. At this point the chicken should be cooked but you can take a bite to test for doneness. It should be tender (not tough) and white inside. Remove pan from heat.
5 – While chicken is cooking put water on to boil for noodles. Cook according to instructions (usually cooks in boiling water in 4 to 5 minutes). Drain and rinse throughly in cold water before tossing into the broth (if you don’t do this they will continue to cook and become soft and starchy).