Once upon a time I thought I would make a Kung Pao Chicken that I found on Pinterest from fitfoodiefinds.com because all of her recipes look AMAZING and then I went to my fridge and found out that I didn’t actually have some of the pretty critical ingredients to make it Kung Pao-y. So… I improvised. Because, well, that’s what I do.Here’s the deal, Sundays at our house are always a little, um, hectic. I think any LDS mother out there who tries to get kids ready and dinner prepped before church would agree. It’s always the same story. Wake up early to get the primary lesson ready, realize that you’ve slept through your alarm, or somehow your arm was “sleep moving” and leaned over and turned it off without your approval…that dang arm. You get up, sit down to prepare and then BOOM, the baby starts crying. Deep breath. You make a bottle, get her dressed, fed, and happy so you can sit back down and get your lesson somewhat ready. You hear someone walking up the stairs, “Hi, mom.” It’s your two year old. “I’m hungwee!” Of course you are buddy, of course.
Cereal and milk is poured, then your husband comes in and says, “Oh, by the way, I have a meeting this morning I need to go to.” Awesome. Ok, I’ve got this. You read through your lesson, pick out some color pages and activities for the kids, breath and move on to your next task. Dinner. At 8:00 A.M.? Yes, because it’s Fast Sunday and that’s what you’ve got to do to keep everyone from punching a wall, pulling hair, screaming bloody murder because apparently on Sundays everyone starts to starve after only 3 hours of withholding food. And on fast Sundays, for us adults it’s a 24 hour without food deal…so people start to get a little “hangry”. So yes, dinner at 8:00 a.m.
My prep work began with defrosting 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts and cutting them up into bit sized pieces and placing them in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. I added to the bag, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp. paprika, and 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (we used frank’s because that’s just what we had on hand). Shake the bag to coat the chicken evenly, and put it in the fridge.
Place the beans in a strainer to clean them with water, place them in a bag a set aside. Now you can prepare your stir fry sauce. Mmmm…so good. In a bowl combine 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp hot sauce, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Mix it all up and set it in your fridge. Now the prep work is all done!
Now you can hurry and jump in the shower, think about washing your hair…meh, it can last one more day, jump out, rush your makeup, pretend like your skirt doesn’t need to be ironed, take the two year old potty, pack some snacks and head out the door. Phew…you made it!
When you come home from church the first thing you are going to want to do is get the rice cooking. I use a rice cooker because well, let’s just say I’m the queen of messing up rice when I cook it on the stove. Like for real, the worst! For that reason, I just stick it in the rice cooker and let it work it’s magic.
OR on days like this where I literally have MAYBE half an hour to have dinner completely ready and on the table I use the brown instant rice that you can make in the microwave…that’s the way we roll people. Boom, it’s done in 17 minutes.
So, get that rice going, then put 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil and 1 Tbsp minced garlic in a pan on med high/high heat. When it’s hot, add the bag of chicken and let it cook until it’s ALMOST cooked through (about 3 minutes) then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Add 1 more Tbsp of oil and garlic to the pan. Now add your green beans. Season them with a little salt and pepper, place the lid on top and let them cook until softened. Mine took about 10 minutes. When softened, add the chicken back in and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked to perfection. 🙂 Next grab that sauce bowl out of the fridge, turn your heat down to simmer and pour your sauce over your green beans and chicken. Let it cook for another couple of minutes or so to cook down and so the flavors can all run together. Add 1 tsp. sesame seeds and them it sit another minute.
Fluff your rice and dish up!
Chop up some Cashews or peanuts to add to the top and Enjoy! This was the PERFECT fast Sunday meal and everyone remained calm and happy. No biting, kicking, or pushing. 🙂
Oh and the primary lesson turned out great. I’m sure you were wondering…
- 4 Thinly Sliced Chicken Breasts
- 1-1.5 lbs. Green Beans
- 3 tsp. Chili Powder (divided)
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 4 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (divided)
- 3 Tbsp. Hot Sauce (divided and more to taste)
- 3 Tbsp. Minced Garlic (divided)
- 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Cashews or Peanuts (optional for garnish)
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and place in gallon sized ziploc bag.
- To the chicken add 2 tsp. chili powder, paprika, 2 Tbsp hot sauce, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp garlic.
- Close ziploc bag and shake well to coat chicken evenly. Place in fridge.
- Cut ends off of green beans, wash throughly, place in separate ziploc, and place in fridge.
- Prepare the sauce by combing in a bowl: 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. hot sauce,1 tsp. chili powder and salt. Mix well and place in fridge.
- When ready to make the dish, put 1 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp minced garlic in a pan set to medium high/high heat.
- Add chicken and let it cook until almost cooked through.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 more Tbsp of oil and garlic to pan.
- Place green beans in the pan, stirring well to coat with oil, season with a little salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid and let them cook until they have a soft crunch (about 10 minutes).
- Return chicken to pan and decrease heat to low/simmer.
- Add sauce mixture letting it cook for about 3 minutes on low.
- Add sesame seeds. Cook 1-2 more minutes.
- Serve hot with rice.
- Garnish with chopped cashews or peanuts.