Stir-Fried Chicken with Broccoli

Infinite possibilities—all faster (and better) than takeout.
TIME 30 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
1 pound broccoli
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
½ cup water, chicken stock, or dry white wine
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
¼ cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 Trim the broccoli and cut it into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Make sure the garlic, ginger, and onion are ready in advance, as well as the liquid.

2 Blot the chicken dry with paper towels and cut it into bite-sized chunks roughly the same size.

3 Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir it once, then let it sit until it starts to sizzle and brown before stirring again, at least 1 minute. Scatter the garlic, ginger, and onion on top. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color and the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove everything from the pan with a slotted spoon.

4 Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, swirl it, then add the broccoli right away and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli starts to char in some spots and turns bright green, 1 or 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the water and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste a piece of broccoli; it should be just tender but not at all mushy. If not, keep cooking for another minute or two.

5 Return the chicken mixture to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar if you like a little sweetness, the soy sauce, and the remaining ¼ cup water if the mixture looks dry; toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

  • Stir-Fried Chicken with Vegetables: Try this recipe with other sliced, chopped, or whole vegetables, like mushrooms, snow peas, carrots, celery, greens, bell peppers, bean sprouts, or mixed vegetables. Their exact cooking times depend on how small the pieces are and how firm they are raw, so be sure to taste frequently in Step 4.

  • If you’re making rice or noodles, get them going before you start the stir-fry. That’s how fast this dish comes together.

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