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Chicken and Broccoli

This Chinese Chicken and Broccoli is a QUICK and easy recipe loaded with juicy chicken and crisp-tender broccoli enveloped in a savory garlic, ginger stir fry sauce complimented by hot steaming rice (or go low carb with cauliflower rice). This Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry utilizes the easy restaurant velveting technique to produce smooth, tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken you will have to taste to believe! This Chicken and Broccoli recipe uses easy to find grocery store ingredients and a large skillet instead of a wok so anyone can make this any time! And you are going to want to make this healthy, versatile, filling, satisfyingly stir fry ALL the time!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Marinade

Sauce

Stir Fry

  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Add the velveting ingredients to a large freezer bag or bowl; whisk to combine. Add chicken and turn until evenly coated. Let sit at room temperature while you prep your broccoli and aromatics; 15-30 minutes (no more). Meanwhile, whisk Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and stir fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes (chicken will not be cooked through). Remove chicken to a plate.
  • To the now empty skillet, heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil/vegetable oil until very hot and sizzling. Add the broccoli and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add water, garlic and ginger and stir fry one minute.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, chicken is cooked through, and broccoli reaches desired tenderness, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Notes

TIPS AND TRICKS 

  • Chicken broth:  use low sodium chicken broth so you can control the salt level.  
  • Oyster sauce:  use QUALITY oyster sauce such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman.  You truly can taste the difference and will be sorely disappointed with less quality brands.
  • Soy sauce:   use low sodium soy sauce or your chicken stir fry will be too salty.
  • Rice wine:  Rice wine is NOT rice vinegar- DO NOT switch them out.  Rice wine adds a sweetness and depth of flavor; rice vinegar, on the other hand, will add an acidic flavor.  I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it.  
  • Garlic and ginger:   You may substitute the fresh aromatics with 1 teaspoon EACH garlic powder and ginger powder whisked directly into the sauce.   
  • Prep first.  While your chicken is marinating, prep your broccoli, garlic, ginger and sauce.  You want everything ready before you start cooking because the actually stir frying takes just a few minutes. 
  • Don’t chop chicken to small.  The chicken should be chopped 1-2-inches thick, erroring on the side of larger so that it doesn’t overcook and dry out.
  • Swap veggies.  You can substitute the broccoli with your other favorites or you can swap some of the broccoli with other veggies. 
  • Quality oyster sauce.   Use QUALITY oyster sauce like Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman because you can literally taste the difference.
  • Hot but not too hot skillet. Your pan should be hot enough so that the chicken sizzles but the pan shouldn’t be so hot that it smokes excessively once you add the oil.  If the pan is smoking hot, remove it from heat, let it cool slightly then return to heat.
  • Use neutral oil.  You can substitute vegetable oil with another neutral oil but not flavorful oil like olive oil.
  • Don’t overcook chicken.  For the juiciest chicken, don’t overcook!  Brown it in the skillet but let it finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Don’t overcook broccoli.  Take care not to over-cook the broccoli because it will continue to cook in the sauce.  It is better to under-cook when stir frying then over-cook.
  • Add heat.  Customize the heat with additional sriracha or chili sauce.  If the Chicken and Broccoli feels like it’s missing something, it is probably heat.

How to Freeze

Yes, this Chicken and Broccoli recipe freezes much better than traditional stir fries due to the broccoli.  To freeze:
  • Let the stir fry cool completely.
  • Transfer to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.
  • Label and freeze for 2 to 3 months. 
  • Defrost in the refrigerator then reheat per above instructions.

PREPARE Ahead

You can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time so recipe can come together in minutes:
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator; whisk again before using.
  • Add the velveting ingredients to a large Ziploc bag.
  • Chop chicken and store in a separate container in the refrigerator.
  • Chop the broccoli, garlic and ginger and store in separate baggies/containers in the refrigerator.
  • Within the next 48 hours, proceed with the recipe without any of the prep!