Skip the takeout and make this Chinese chicken and broccoli at home. It’s easier to make than you might think, and tastes even better than your local restaurant. Serves 6.
Ever since I was little, my favorite thing to get when we ordered Chinese or went to a Chinese restaurant was chicken and broccoli. I love love love it. I love the sauce and the freshness of the broccoli. I even love the way the sticky white rice tastes all by itself. It’s something I really miss now that we live in France, and I must say – French Chinese food is just not the same as American Chinese food.
Over the past year or so, I’ve been testing out all sorts of Chinese recipes from Pinterest and other places on the internet, but I never found one that I thought stood its ground against the real deal. Finally, I think I’ve found the ONE. The sauce has the perfect texture and creaminess, and the broccoli – which needs to be cooked just right – is the perfect amount of crispness.
How do you make Chinese chicken and broccoli?
There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that this recipe turns out as great – if not better – than Chinese chicken and broccoli take out.
- Slice the chicken against the grain. This makes gives chicken the perfect texture and makes it more like restaurant style chicken and broccoli.
- Steam the broccoli. It needs to be cooked just right. I used a vegetable steamer, but you can steam it in the microwave, too. Just make sure you don’t steam it too long because it’s going to be cooked a little more when it’s added to the sauce.
- Add water chestnuts. You don’t need to add them, but they’re almost always included in takeout. So if you have them, add them.
Why do we use baking soda in Chinese chicken and broccoli?
The baking soda causes a chemical reaction with the vinegar that’s in the sauce. That’s why we don’t add mix it together right away. But, when they do come together, they cause a foaming reaction that creates a light and airy sauce. I know it’s weird, but trust me, it works.
Can I make this gluten free?
Yes. Simply swap out the soy sauce for tamari and use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in the sauce (rather than 2 tablespoons flour).
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch for gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour oven sliced chicken and let marinate until ready to cook.
- Steam broccoli in a large, microwave safe container for 3 minutes.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a second medium bowl.
- Heat a large, non-stick skillet to medium-high (add 1 tablespoon of oil if not using a nonstick pan).
- Add chicken with its marinade. Sauté until chicken is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sauce, steamed broccoli and water chestnuts to pan. Stir to evenly coat the ingredients with sauce and cook until sauce has thickened – about 2 minutes.
- For a thinner sauce, add about 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired thickness has been reached.
- Calories: 230
- Sugar: 4.8 g
- Sodium: 783 mg
- Fat: 7.6g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.4 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 27.1 g
- Cholesterol: 73 mg
Recipe adapted from Rainy Day Gal.
Looking for other Asian inspired recipes? These are some of my favorites:
- Chinese Cashew Chicken
- Quick Peanut Noodles
- Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry with Garlic-Ginger Teriyaki Suace
- Sweet Garlicky Glazed Snow Peas
- Asian Meatball Satay with Peanut Sriracha Sauce