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Effortless Chinese Chicken Broccoli Recipes: A Family Favourite

If you're searching for a quick and delicious meal to prepare, Chinese chicken and broccoli should be at the top of your list. This popular dish is a mainstay in Chinese cooking and is adored worldwide. By using just a few ingredients and mastering some basic cooking techniques, you can craft a scrumptious and satisfying meal that will please everyone in your household.

A wok sizzles with tender chicken and vibrant broccoli in a savory garlic sauce

When it comes to making Chinese chicken and broccoli, choosing the right ingredients is key. For the chicken, you'll want to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs that have been cut into bite-sized pieces. For the broccoli, fresh is best, but frozen will also work in a pinch. Other ingredients you'll need include garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.

To make the dish, you'll need to prep your ingredients by chopping the chicken and broccoli into bite-sized pieces and mincing the garlic and ginger. Then, you'll cook the chicken in a wok or large skillet until it's browned and cooked through. Next, you'll add the broccoli and cook until it's tender-crisp. Finally, you'll add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and stir-fry everything together until it's well combined. Serve the dish over rice or noodles for a complete meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese chicken and broccoli is a simple and delicious meal that's easy to make at home.
  • Choosing the right ingredients, prepping them properly, and using basic cooking techniques is key to making a great dish.
  • Seafood can be added to the recipe to give it a unique twist. Shrimp or scallops are great options that pair well with the flavours of the dish.

Choosing Ingredients

A person selecting fresh broccoli and chicken from a market display

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese chicken and broccoli dish, selecting the right ingredients is key. Here are some tips on choosing the best ingredients for your recipe.

Selecting the Best Chicken

For the best results, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. It's important to choose fresh, high-quality chicken to ensure that your dish is tender and juicy. If you prefer, you can also use seafood such as shrimp or scallops to add a unique twist to your recipe.

Fresh Broccoli vs Frozen

Fresh broccoli is always the best choice for a Chinese chicken and broccoli dish. Look for firm, green florets with no yellowing or wilting. If fresh broccoli is not available, you can use frozen broccoli instead. Just be sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before cooking.

Essential Chinese Sauces and Spices

To create the signature flavour of Chinese chicken and broccoli, you'll need some essential Chinese sauces and spices. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine are all key ingredients that add depth and complexity to your dish. Be sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best results.

In summary, choosing the right ingredients is essential to creating a delicious Chinese chicken and broccoli dish. Whether you prefer chicken or seafood, fresh or frozen broccoli, or a combination of essential Chinese sauces and spices, be sure to select the best ingredients for your recipe.

Prepping Your Ingredients

Fresh broccoli and chicken are neatly chopped on a clean cutting board, surrounded by bowls of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. A wok and spatula sit ready on the stovetop

Before you start cooking your Chinese chicken and broccoli stir-fry, it's important to prep your ingredients first. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Marinating the Chicken

To make your chicken extra flavourful and tender, you should marinate it beforehand. Cut your chicken breast into thin, bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of water. Mix everything together until the chicken is coated evenly. Then, let it sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavours to seep in. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use shrimp or scallops as a substitute for chicken.

Preparing the Broccoli

Next, prepare your broccoli florets by washing them thoroughly and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. You can choose to blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two to make them tender, or you can stir-fry them directly in the pan with the chicken. If you want to add some variety to your dish, you can also use other vegetables like carrots or bell peppers.

Creating the Stir-Fry Sauce

The sauce is what ties everything together in a stir-fry, and it's easy to make. Mix together a tablespoon each of dark and regular soy sauce, a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a teaspoon of sugar. You can adjust the amount of sugar and salt to suit your taste. To thicken the sauce, add a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix it in well. If you want a spicier sauce, you can add some chilli flakes or chopped fresh chillies.

With these simple steps, you're ready to start cooking your Chinese chicken and broccoli stir-fry.

Cooking Techniques

Chicken pieces stir-fried in a wok with broccoli and aromatic Chinese seasonings. Steam rising from the sizzling ingredients

Mastering the Stir-Fry

Stir-frying is a popular cooking technique in Chinese cuisine that involves quickly cooking ingredients in a hot wok or pan. To master the art of stir-frying, you need to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. This includes cutting your chicken and broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and preparing any sauces or seasoning you plan to use.

When stir-frying chicken and broccoli, it's important to cook the chicken first before adding the broccoli. This allows the chicken to cook through and develop a nice sear before the broccoli is added. You should also avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can cause the ingredients to steam instead of stir-fry.

Boiling and Steaming Broccoli

Boiling and steaming are two other popular cooking techniques for broccoli in Chinese cuisine. To boil broccoli, simply add it to a pot of boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender. To steam broccoli, place it in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.

When boiling or steaming broccoli for a chicken and broccoli recipe, it's important not to overcook the broccoli. Overcooked broccoli can become mushy and lose its bright green colour. To prevent this, remove the broccoli from the heat as soon as it is tender.

Thickening Sauces

Thickening sauces is a common technique in Chinese cooking, and is often achieved using a cornstarch slurry. To make a cornstarch slurry, simply mix cornstarch and water together until smooth, and then add it to your sauce.

When thickening the sauce for a chicken and broccoli recipe, it's important to add the cornstarch slurry slowly while stirring constantly. This helps to prevent lumps from forming in the sauce. Once the sauce has thickened, you can add your cooked chicken and broccoli back into the pan and stir to coat everything evenly.

If you're looking to add seafood to your chicken and broccoli recipe, you could try using shrimp or scallops. Both of these seafood options pair well with the flavours of chicken and broccoli, and can be cooked using similar techniques. Simply add them to the pan with your chicken and broccoli and cook until they are pink and cooked through.

Serving and Pairing

A plate of Chinese chicken and broccoli garnished with sesame seeds, paired with a side of steamed rice, and a pot of green tea

Plating Your Dish

Now that you have prepared your delicious Chinese chicken and broccoli, it's time to serve it up! The best way to plate your dish is to place a bed of steamed rice on the bottom of a bowl or plate and then spoon the chicken and broccoli on top. This allows the sauce to seep into the rice, making it even more flavourful.

If you prefer noodles, you can also serve your chicken and broccoli over a bed of cooked noodles. Be sure to use thin, long noodles such as vermicelli or rice noodles, as they pair well with the light sauce in this dish.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

Chinese chicken and broccoli is a complete meal in itself, but if you'd like to add some variety to your meal, there are several side dishes that pair well with it.

Steamed vegetables such as bok choy, snow peas, or carrots are a great option. They add some colour to your plate and provide a healthy balance to the dish.

If you're serving your chicken and broccoli with rice, consider adding a side of pickled vegetables such as kimchi or pickled radishes. The tangy flavour of the pickled vegetables pairs well with the savoury chicken and broccoli.

Seafood is also a great addition to this dish. You can add shrimp or scallops to the stir-fry for a seafood twist. Alternatively, you can serve your chicken and broccoli alongside a plate of steamed fish for a more traditional Chinese meal.

Overall, Chinese chicken and broccoli is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of accompaniments and side dishes. Whether you're serving it with rice or noodles, or adding some steamed vegetables or seafood to the mix, this dish is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.

Frequently Asked Questions

A wok sizzles as chicken and broccoli stir-fry together in a fragrant garlic and ginger sauce. Steam rises, filling the kitchen with savory aromas

How can you whip up a healthy chicken and broccoli stir-fry?

A healthy chicken and broccoli stir-fry can be made by using lean chicken breast and fresh broccoli florets. You can also add other vegetables like carrots, bell peppers and mushrooms for added nutrition. Use minimal oil for cooking and avoid adding too much salt or sugar. You can also use low-sodium soy sauce or tamari for a healthier option.

What ingredients go into making a classic Chinese broccoli and chicken sauce?

A classic Chinese broccoli and chicken sauce typically consists of soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chicken broth, cornstarch and sesame oil. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient to suit your taste. For a seafood twist, you can add shrimp or scallops to the sauce.

Can you suggest a simple method to tenderise chicken for a stir-fry?

To tenderise chicken for a stir-fry, you can marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help break down the proteins and make the chicken more tender. You can also slice the chicken against the grain to make it more tender.

What's in the brown sauce often served with Chinese dishes?

The brown sauce often served with Chinese dishes typically consists of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, chicken broth, cornstarch and sesame oil. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient to suit your taste. For a seafood twist, you can add fish sauce or shrimp paste to the sauce.

Could you share a straightforward recipe for chicken and broccoli with garlic sauce?

Sure, here's a simple recipe for chicken and broccoli with garlic sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  3. Add garlic and stir-fry for another minute.
  4. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp.
  5. Pour in sauce mixture and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens and coats chicken and broccoli.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

What are some easy-to-make Chinese chicken dishes for a weeknight dinner?

Some easy-to-make Chinese chicken dishes for a weeknight dinner include:

  • Kung Pao Chicken
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • General Tso's Chicken
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Lemon Chicken

For a seafood twist, you can substitute chicken with shrimp or scallops in these dishes.