Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dinner - fast and good!

No matter who you are, if you cook, you sometimes just want to be quick and done.  As much as I love elaborate recipes that turn out delicious gourmet meals, other times I am hungry or tired or have other stuff going on and just want to be in and out of the kitchen in under a half hour.  Is it possible?  Absolutely?  Can you make more than a bowl of cereal or a scrambled egg in that time?  Yes!  Are you thinking of comparing me to an overly-chipper, happy TV host who makes meals in a half hour?  Well, stop it right now!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry is one of my new favorite meals that makes me happy because it's so darn quick and makes the husband happy because he loves any kind of Asian food.  This recipe was delicious over rice, but also quite good tossed with udon noodles (which cook in 4 minutes - yeah!).  I have made this at least three times now and it was great every time.  This is going on the go-to meal ideas list (it only exists inside my head, but it is there, I swear).  

I am big on the idea of switching up ingredients based on preference.  In this particular recipe, I like to switch the sugar out for local honey.  Red pepper flakes are great for a little kick.  Toasted sesame seeds make a tasty garnish (put sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden color starts to appear).   This recipe also seems like it would be really easy to toss in any variety of vegetables or switch out the chicken for tofu, beef, or pork.  

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
Recipe from


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 breasts), sliced against the grain
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • About 1/3 cup chicken broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks (about 1/4-inch thick) and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
  • Serving suggestion: rice


Toss the chicken with about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with the 1/3 cup broth or water.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccolistems, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but stillcrisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and stir-fryuntil the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates; serve with rice.

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