Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
Chicken and broccoli is always my litmus test for whether a Chinese restaurant is good (I also check how clean the bathrooms are, but that’s a different story). The best dish has thinly-sliced chicken, crisp-tender broccoli and carrots, and a savory, velvety sauce. Now that we live in an area of Spain where Chinese restaurants are few and far between, I’ve had to learn to make chicken and broccoli at home. It’s fairly easy and quick, and a good balanced dinner for the kids.
- Olive or peanut oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 TBSP Cornstarch
- 1 lb. Chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts or 3 small), sliced thinly against the grain
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 - 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal, larger slices cut in half
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 – 4 TBSP soy sauce, depending on how much you like soy sauce
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 tsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 TBSP cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup water
- Marinate the chicken: mix together the ¼ cup of soy sauce and 2 TBSP cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the sliced chicken and mix to distribute the marinade. Set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
- Place the carrots and garlic in a small bowl and set aside. Put the broccoli in another bowl and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Whisk together chicken broth, 3 - 4 TBSP of soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and the 3 TBSP cornstarch in a mug or bowl and set aside.
- Drizzle about 1 tsp. oil in wok or large nonstick sauté pan and heat on high heat. Sauté the ginger in the oil, then add the chicken. Let the chicken pieces cook for a minute or two, then turn them over so that they cook on both sides. When the chicken is no longer pink, remove to a serving platter.
- Drizzle another teaspoon of oil in the pan. Add the carrots and garlic, and stir constantly so the garlic doesn't burn (you may want to reduce the heat so the garlic doesn't cook too quickly). When the carrots are slightly tender after about 2 minutes, add the broccoli. Add a pinch of salt to the vegetables, then add ⅓ Cup of water. Cover the pan and let the water steam the veggies. Remove the cover once the water has evaporated, and add the chicken back in. (Note: if you like your veggies more tender, add more water and let them steam longer.)
- Whisk the sauce again and pour it over the chicken and veggies. Stir to distribute the sauce well and bring to boiling so the cornstarch can thicken, then reduce heat to simmer. Taste the sauce, and add more soy sauce, chicken broth, and/or salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hot cooked rice.
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