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Warm up your winter dinner menu with Spicy Saucy Chicken over noodles.

My new year is getting off to a great start, especially when I have these kinds of recipes to tweak and make my own according to my own tastes. And that’s really what being the head cook — AKA king or queen of your own domain — is all about.

I love when a recipe is so versatile that making a small change or a few additions not only makes it your own, but also hits all the feel-good spots and moves the dish into a regular rotation in your weekly menus. I’m learning to look at my life with a new set of eyes — and who would believe I could apply that same concept in my daily decisions?

Tweaking a few habits this year has changed my perspective. I’m happier and I’ve learned the art of flexibility that dictates I let go of how I expected the happenings to unfold while embracing how it’s actually happening in real time.

We entertained this weekend unexpected visitors and though I had little food on hand, I did have the ingredients for this little meal. Having an appreciation for spicy food, a perfect comfort food turned out to be just as warm and soothing for guests as it delivered for us time and time again. I don’t think I’ve ever been more complemented. It’s going to be a spicy winter with this recipe floating around.

Spicy Saucy Chicken

3 1/2 cups of water

1 inch chopped fresh ginger

2 chicken breasts, sliced

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 Tablespoon beef concentrate

1 can chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 cups spinach

3 tablespoons sriracha sauce

3 T olive oil

2 T sesame oil

Toasted Sesame seeds

2 cups of noodles of any kind, prepared according to the package

In a stock pan combine garlic, water, stock, carrots, 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce, mushrooms, beef concentrate and ginger. Bring to boil for 5 minutes. Add spinach to wilt. Set aside, in a skillet drizzle the olive oil and sear the chicken and add the rest of the sriracha sauce.

Place a portion of noodles in a bowl. Drizzle with stock. Top with chicken and garnish with cilantro, seeds and sesame oil.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.