I love Chinese food. It’s in my blood. Well, the Chinese part anyhow. While I love my greasy take out from my favorite place back in San Diego, the Army life has taken us places where Chinese food was limited, and GOOD Chinese food was pretty much nonexistent. Thank goodness I love to cook!
I found this book in the clearance section at a Barnes and Noble almost ten years ago. I fiddled with it here and then, trying some of the recipes I knew and loved growing up. But it wasn’t until we got sent to Germany in 2010 that I pulled it out on a regular basis.
This is one of my favorite recipes in the book, so it’s been made often enough that I have a couple things I have changed….
~ I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Because of this, I don’t include the oil with the marinade.
~ I have occasionally not had dry sherry on hand. In those instances, I have subbed in Rice Wine Vinegar, and it is a nice substitution. So much so, that I don’t fret about not having dry sherry on hand on a regular basis.
~ I like my chicken with a little crisp to it. While the recipe says to cook it just to an opaque color, I usually let it go a few minutes longer to get that good crunch on the outside.
~ I add the broccoli to the chicken mixture once the chicken is cooked and the cooking sauce is added. I like the sauce all over the chicken and broccoli.
~ Because I add the broccoli to the chicken and sauce, I don’t cook the broccoli in the vegetable cooking water. All the flavor the broccoli needs is in that cooking sauce, and is just so yummy.
~ Use fresh broccoli. Frozen broccoli doesn’t come out right at all!! You want those big leafy trees, and frozen broccoli tends to tear those trees to shreds.
~ I top ours with La Choy Crunchy Noodles. It gives the dish a little something extra, and an added texture.
So, without further ado, I give you….
CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI RECIPE
1 TBSP each soy sauce, cornstarch, and water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each sesame oil and sugar
1/8 tsp white pepper (black is fine if you don’t have white)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
3 TBSP olive oil
Cooking sauce (recipe below)
1 pound broccoli
Vegetable cooking water (recipe below)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 whole green onion, thinly sliced
In a bowl, combine soy sauce, cornstarch, water, salt, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add chicken and toss to coat. Stir in 1 TBSP olive oil (skip this part if you use chicken thighs!). Let stand to marinate for 15 minutes.
Prepare cooking sauce and set aside.
cut off broccoli flower eats in 3-inch lengths. Peel thick stalks, then thinly slice. Boil vegetable cooking water (not necessary if you are going to toss the broccoli in with the chicken and cooking sauce!), add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, then discard green onion and ginger from vegetable cooking water. Arrange broccoli on opposite ends of a serving dish (just set drained broccoli aside is you are adding it to chicken and cooking sauce.) Keep warm.
Heat wok or wide frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil. When oil begins to heat, add garlic and ginger. Stir once, then add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir cooking sauce, add to pan along with green onion (add broccoli, if you would like, at this time), and cook, stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.
Cooking Sauce. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp dry sherry, and 1/4 tsp each salt and sesame oil.
Vegetable Cooking Water. In a large pan, combine 4 cups water, 2 dime-size slices fresh ginger (crushed with the side of a cleaver), 1 whole green onion, 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP each dry sherry, and sugar, and 1 tsp salt.