I love stir-fry. Great for those nights when you’re not quite sure what’s on the dinner docket, stir-fries are quick and easy. My neighbor Janie gave me a printout of an article that was in Food Network magazine a few years ago, in which they broke down stir fry – listing meats, veggies, and sauces that then you could mix-n-match and do your own thing.
I treasure that printout, because a few months later we lost Janie to a brain tumor. The best neighbor anyone could ask for – I always enjoyed chit-chatting about vegetable or flower gardening with her in the backyard, or asking her advice on a certain variety of hydrangea. Needless to say, I think of her often this time of year, and of course when I pull out my trusty stir-fry sheet. I know she’d really take delight in all the tasty things I’ve been whipping up in my kitchen these past few years!
One of my favorite things to order from Chinese takeout is chicken and broccoli. But, as most take-out would have it – something that is seemingly healthy is laden with calories and fat. That’s why we do it at home, kids! Pieces of tender chicken, and plenty of broccoli that still has a bite to it. I also had some carrots to use up, so I threw that in too. We all devoured it, especially the boys! William will choose a green veggie over a piece of meat any day of the week. If you’re looking for a way to try to get your little ones to eat more veggies, stir-fries are a great place to start!
Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
For the sauce:
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Combine soy sauce, veggie oil, garlic, and scallions in a Ziploc bag. Add chicken to bag and toss to coat. Let marinade 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the veggies and sauce.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of ice and 2 cups of water. Toss broccoli florets into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove, and place in the ice bath to set the color and stop the cooking process. Drain, and place florets on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
Drain the excess marinade from the protein. Place your sauce, vegetables and protein near the stove.
Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the protein; stir slowly until almost opaque; about 1 minute. Transfer to plate; discard the oil and wipe out the pan.
Heat the pan over high heat; 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons oil and add the vegetables, starting with the carrots – then the broccoli and onions. Stir-fry until crisp-tender.
Add the protein and sauce and stir until the sauce is thick and the vegetables and protein are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Think with chicken broth, if needed. Garnish with sliced scallions, peanuts, sesame seeds, or cilantro.