Quick, easy, and tasty, this chicken broccoli stirfry is loaded with tender chicken and broccoli in a flavorful sauce. Served over some hot steamed rice, it is a simple and delicious meal, any night of the week!
Who’s up for an awesome chicken broccoli stirfry in a delicious gravy over hot steamed rice?
And I’m not talking dry, tough, and “squeaky-bite” chicken, but totally tender tasty chicken.
All you need are some simple ingredients and you can have this delicious dish any night of the week!
And I’m going to show you how to get crazy tender chicken every time you make it!
As with cooking any Asian stirfry, you have to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time some so they’re ready to go. So before any heat is turned on, get all your chopping out of the way, and prepare your sauce in a measuring cup.
The trick to making the chicken breast deliciously tender requires an extra step before cooking…treat the chicken pieces to a coating of baking soda…yes, baking soda!
This is a common trick used in Chinese restaurants and is referred to as velveting chicken…so it’s smooth like velvet! In simple terms, coating the chicken breast pieces in baking soda and letting them hang out together for about 20 minutes breaks down the fibers and tenderizes the meat. What you get is “soft” tender chicken that isn’t dry or “squeaky” when you bite into it!
After the chicken and baking soda have had a chance to mingle, all you need to do is rinse off the baking soda, and go straight to marinating the chicken!
Then it’s time to move on to cooking!
I like to parboil my broccoli to get rid of the woody texture, and have found that trying to do that by cooking it straight in the pan takes too long. So I cheat a bit with the parboil, just for a quick 2 minutes, to speed up the process.
Then it’s on to putting all the ingredients together, which will happen really quickly once you’ve got the pan going!
Get your hot pan, add a some oil, then saute the garlic, ginger, and onion.
Next comes the chicken and a quick toss before adding the sauce and the broccoli.
A quick heat through to finish cooking the chicken and broccoli and a sprinkle of green onions and BAM!
You’ve got a bowl of chicken broccoli stirfry magic ready to serve!
And don’t forget about the tender chicken! Those 20 minutes with the baking soda makes all the difference!
Serve up this stirfry with my equally quick and easy Super Simple Egg Drop Soup and you’ve got a well-rounded and very complete Chinese meal on the table!
If you happen to have any left over, I can personally attest to the fact that it reheats really well…the chicken stays tender and tasty! I love digging into hot bowl of leftover stirfry and rice for a super quick and comforting lunch the next day.
The traditional and obvious way to enjoy this is with some hot steamed rice. But you could easily go low-carb with this dish by enjoying it without the rice, or serve it over cauliflower rice! This is definitely a recipe worth keeping in your back pocket!
Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stirfry
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 tsp tapioca starch
- 1/2 lb. (227g) broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbs light olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 3 tbs oyster sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- Mix chicken breast pieces with baking soda and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse baking soda off the chicken and then pat dry with paper towels.
- In a bowl, combine the rinsed chicken breast with 2 tsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free) and 2 tsp tapioca starch and mix well. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, combine the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce (tamari), honey, sesame oil, and white pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot and parboil broccoli for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbs light olive oil.
- Saute garlic, ginger and onions until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken.
- Saute chicken until half-done, about 1 minute. Add sauce and broccoli. Mix well.
- Cook for 2 minutes to heat through. Add chopped green onions, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
- There are other versions of velveting chicken, such as using a mixture of egg whites and cornstarch, and then given the chicken a pre-cook before tossing into your stirfry. I find using baking soda is so much simpler, and I don't have to fuss with having to separate eggs, etc.
- It is important to rinse the baking soda off the chicken so you don't have the baking soda taste in your dish.
- You could use chicken thigh meat, which is more tender than breast meat to begin with. In this case, you could probably skip the velveting/baking soda step and go straight to marinating the meat after cutting into bite-sized pieces. That being said, velveting thigh meat won't hurt it.
- You can substitute the broccoli with other vegetables like cauliflower, sugar snap peas, asparagus, etc. I would still parboil them for 1-2 minutes before tossing into the pan.
- Throw in some roasted cashews at the same time as the green onions at the end for a Cashew Chicken variation.
- I also like tossing some tofu puffs into the pan at the same time as the sauce and having them soak up some of the delicious gravy!
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