Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to make until I make it. This was one of those recipes. Sometimes they turn out horrible, sometimes they turn out awesome. This one turned out awesome. Recently I renewed my love for lemon in cooking. Ok, I never really loved it before, but I think that’s because I was using it wrong. Now I’ve figured out how to use it and I’m going through the little plastic lemon juice bottles like crazy! Here’s how it’s done:
Here are all of my veggies. As you can see I used a mix of fresh and frozen. I was thrilled to find the yellow peppers on sale since they are one of my favorites!
2 yellow peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, cleaned and sliced
1 cup frozen green beans
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups diced chicken, precooked (I used left over roasted chicken from the night before)
5 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 tsp black pepper (fresh ground peppercorns if possible)
Here are the ingredients after I diced and sliced them all. Carrots, garlic and onions are under the glorious blanket of yellow peppers. Everything is divided into bowls based on the order they were added to the pan, chicken first, fresh veggies next and finally the frozen veggies (more details in a moment).
Don’t want to forget about the lemon and pepper! Both key players in this dish.
First the chicken was cooked in 2 tbsp of the lemon juice and the black pepper. I stirred it on a medium heat for a minute or so to let the lemon flavor soak in good.
Next I added the the fresh veggies and another tbsp of lemon juice (please note I’m using a skillet that doesn’t require the use of oil to prevent sticking. If you have any trouble at any stage with sticking, add a little olive oil to the skillet. A little bit goes a long way). Due to the carrots this step took the longest to allow the carrots to soften. Next time I make this I may add a bit of water and cover the pan to see if that decreases the cook time or maybe pop them in the microwave for a minute or two before adding them to give them a head start.
Finally I added the frozen veggies and another tbsp of lemon juice. I continued to cook the dish until the frozen veggies were heated through, then I added the last tbsp of lemon juice for a fresh bit of flavor. We served this with rice and it was a hit. The kids even loved it. I left the lemon juice on the table in case anyone wanted to freshen up the flavor even more.
Another thing I love about this recipe, is the chicken could be omitted and it would still taste wonderful as a vegetarian dish! Actually…without the chicken it looks like this would even be classified as vegan which is awesome! Honestly, my favorite part of this whole dish was the sweet and sour combination of the peppers and the lemon, highlighted by the heat of the pepper. It was absolutely delicious!