Florets of just cooked blanched broccoli, thin strips of tender chicken and enough heat from jalapenos make this dish exciting to serve and eat.
After a busy day, it is tempting to call in an order for Kung Pao chicken, vegetable fried rice, and egg rolls to a favorite Chinese restaurant. But with a little bit of planning, you can skip the often calorie-laden and less than nutritious Asian takeout dishes.
Asian recipes have always been some of my go-to recipes on event full nights at our house. They are quick to make, I can load with fresh vegetables, and they can be tailored to fit the tastes of my family.
Spicy Jalapeno Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry has been a family favorite of ours for many years. It packs a spicy kick that is never quite achieved when ordering Chinese takeout.
A few tips are essential to remember when preparing this recipe. Cook the chicken until just done. Any longer than that and it gets tough and rubbery. After the chicken is cooked, drain off any liquid before adding it in the other ingredients. The extra liquid will make the sauce too thin.
Even a small amount of an ingredient adds a distinctive Asian flavor. The oyster sauce is just such an ingredient that gives this dish its authentic Chinese takeout taste. Blanching the broccoli florets for a few minutes helps it retain its bright green color and results in a tender, crisp bite.
Many Asian dishes are served with steamed rice. Other side dish options are available. Try thin rice noodles or rice threads. They only require a few minutes in boiling water to cook. Mound the cooked noodles on the serving plate and top with the chicken and broccoli stir fry for a dramatic presentation. To make dinner time prep fly by, chop all the ingredients the night before serving. It will only take 15 minutes to get dinner on the table for your hungry family.
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- ¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil divided
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 shallots sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root finely diced
- ½ jalapeno pepper sliced thin
- 4 cups broccoli florets blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles – cooked according to package directions
- In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken and stir fry until just cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from pan to a plate. Drain off any liquid that accumulates before adding the chicken to the stir fry.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat to a shimmer. Add the garlic, shallots, ginger, and jalapeno. Quickly sauté for about a minute to just begin to release their flavors. Add the stock mixture to the pan and cook until it begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, broccoli, and the scallion and stir just to coat. Serve over the rice noodles.
Amy Casey, of northern New Jersey, is a food columnist for the New Jersey Herald and cookbook author. She has developed a wealth of recipes as a personal chef and also while cooking for her own family of five. See more of her recipes in her just published cookbook for e-readers Dinner for a Year – 52 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Spice Up Your Family Menu Planning.