One Recipe, Two Meals: Classic Chicken Stir-Fry

I always forget what a cinch it is to pull together a stir-fry: some hot oil, a lean protein, an array of brightly colored veggies, maybe a carb, and some quick garnishes. Bam! Dinner’s done.

This is especially handy on weekday nights, when you have less than zero time, and a whole crew of hangries on your hands — especially the little ones. Little ones get hangry-licious in a nano.

So, we’ve got two quick chicken stir-fry methods here: one crazy-speedy, stripped-down recipe for the kids, and one right behind it with more goods in it. More flavor. More sauce. More everything. You’re gonna dig it.

Classic Chicken Stir-Fry for Kids and a Kicked-Up Version for You


4 to 5 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen mixed veggies, thawed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger root

1 tablespoon lemongrass paste

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 bag (6 ounces) snow peas, sliced on the diagonal

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

3 scallions, finely sliced

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 box (14 ounces) stir-fry rice noodles


Heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil in a large saute pan. Add the chicken to the pan, and season with salt and pepper; sear on one side for 3 minutes. Flip and sear another minute or two, until you see nice browning all over. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the thawed veggies to the pan to simply warm through.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and boil for about a minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles.

At this point you’re ready to serve the kids! Using tongs, grab a small mound of noodles and plate them. Top with warm veggies and a few slices of chicken. If your kids can dig a little scallion, by all means, garnish away! Sesame seeds are fun, too.

Now let’s continue on for our adult mouth holes.

Back in the saute pan, bring another tablespoon or two of sesame oil to a medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Let bloom and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the red bell pepper and snow peas. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Toss and saute a couple of minutes, until the veggies slightly soften and pop in color.

Add the chicken to the pan, along with as many noodles as you can fit in the pan. Add the lime juice, the soy sauce and maybe one more tablespoon of sesame oil. Toss everything together to coat.

Serve on a huge platter (or individual plates) garnished with scallions and sesame seeds!

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