A Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fry Good Enough For A Restaurant

If you like Chinese American food, you’ll like this recipe. If you’ve ever tried to make your Chinese take-out favorites, you know it’s not always as easy as it looks. In my own experiments, I can never get the taste quite right or the look as appetizing compared to the restaurant versions.
Part of why involves the technique they use that is nearly impossible to duplicate at home. Another part has to do with getting all the same ingredients. But I found a recipe that makes a really good Broccoli and Chicken Stir-Fry that is good enough for any restaurant.

It’s All About The Prep

As with any Chinese-inspired dish, rice plays a key role. Stir-frying is a very fast cooking technique so there won’t be time to make the rice at the same time. Make the rice first. It will keep warm enough for serving while you slave over your wok or skillet.

Another key element in stir-fry cooking is the preparation. There’s no time to do anything except cook. So, once your rice is going, you can start collecting your ingredients.

You will need two bowls to make sauces. Just a regular cereal bowl will do, something bigger than a ramekin. In one bowl, mix 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce, a quarter cup of brown sugar, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (according to your tastes). Stir until the sugar is dissolved into the liquid.

In the next bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until the starch is completely dissolved.

The last ingredients to gather before we start cooking are, of course, your chicken and broccoli. Also, a small onion is cut into slices. The easiest way to do that is to cut the top off the onion, cut it in half, peel and cut it into thin slices. Gather those slices into a bowl ready for the pan.

I prefer to buy organic diced chicken breast meat, but you can thaw three chicken breast halves and cut them into small pieces. And you need a bag of frozen broccoli florets. I think a 14 oz. bag will do. There’s no need to thaw them before you cook. You need about three cups worth of florets.

Time To Cook

Wok cooking, or stir-frying, is always done over high heat. If you have a wok PAN with a flat bottom, you can use a lower heat if not actively stirring. Also, with a wok, it is best to use a wok paddle, the best are made of bamboo. I found mine in a small Chinese shop in Chicago’s Southern China Town in a set of tools. It had a curved blade making it ideal for the curved sides of the wok. So, put your wok or wok pan over high heat then add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil or enough to coat the full bottom of the pan.

Start with the chicken. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and the sliced onion and fry until the chicken is no longer pink and the onion is tender. This should take five to seven minutes. Then add the broccoli and sauté until the broccoli is cooked, another five to seven minutes.

Now make a hole in the middle of the wok by pushing the chicken and vegetables to the sides. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the skillet. Next stir in the cornstarch slurry and mix until the sauce is uniform in color. Stir in the chicken and vegetables and continue to cook, stirring steadily until the chicken and vegetables are all well coated. That takes about another five minutes.

Serve immediately. I recommend a cup of rice to go with it.

Even using low-sodium soy sauce, this dish will still have a pretty high salt content, so be warned. No, this is not a diet dish. Here’s your nutritional breakdown:
• 356 calories per one cup serving
• 7 grams of fat, including 2 grams of saturated fat and 72 mg. of cholesterol
• 1707 mg. sodium
• 41 grams carbohydrate
• 4 grams fiber
• 24 grams sugar
• 33 grams protein

This dish is not only good right now, but it makes great leftovers. Also, it’s user-friendly in that you can keep all the ingredients in stock to make this quick dish anytime instead of getting take-out.