I should probably preface this recipe by saying that I’ve used chilli oil in this dish and I’m afraid it might be an integral component here. Since there are so few ingredients that go into it—oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, soy and chilli oil—I’m not sure it’ll taste the same without it. I’ve made this dish before subbing with chilli flakes instead and although it was still very good, it was nothing to write home (blog) about. I really don’t like to post rigid recipes on here without offering substitutions and alternatives so I’m going to leave this decision to go with the oil or flakes entirely up to you. Store-bought chilli oil/chile crisp is a good option too.
Chicken in question: I’ve been quite vocal about my preference for chicken thighs. Cut into thin strips, they cook quickly and stay moist. If you want to use chicken breast, cook them the same way, only, they might not need as long in the pan. Breasts are notorious for drying out and getting stringy so make sure you test them a few times. Once you have all your prep done, the cooking hardly takes any time so stir-fries are generally great and also probably where breasts can be most forgiving.
This is a great meal-prep recipe: buy chicken in bulk and prep and blanch a few large heads of broccoli (even better if you have it frozen in the freezer). Then it’s just a matter of marinating the chicken overnight and stir-frying them all together the next day. Most of the ingredients come out of bottles and jars which makes this an absolute doddle to throw together. For these quick-cook dishes, gather all your ingredients and set them beside the stove. Mix your sauce and keep it within arm’s reach. Bring over the chicken and broccoli. Once you get that heat going under the pan, it’ll all take less than ten minutes from start to finish.
CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI STIR-FRY
- 500 grams chicken thighs (see notes)
- 1 large head of broccoli
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2" piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp oil
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used dark soy. Use regular if not)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2" piece of ginger, minced
- 1 ½ tbsp chilli oil (see notes)
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- Cut the chicken pieces into bite-sized strips. Transfer to a bowl. Add the ‘marinade’ ingredients to the chicken. Toss them through. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Use the main stem and side stalks too. Save the leaves for later.
- Blanch the florets and stems in boiling water for 3 mins. Drain, run under cold water, and set aside.
- Mix the ‘sauce’ ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot add the chicken pieces to the pan. Keeping the heat on high, colour the chicken pieces on all sides. Do this in batches if your pan is not wide enough.
- Test a piece and make sure the chicken is cooked through. Add the minced ginger and garlic into the pan and quickly sauté until they start to colour, about 45 secs.
- Add the broccoli and the sauce. Continue cooking over a high heat tossing the chicken and broccoli with the sauce. Slightly saucy is nice here. Add a touch more water if necessary to get the right consistency. Scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. All this is flavour that we want.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the broccoli leaves and toasted sesame oil if using. The residual heat in the pan is enough to wilt the leaves slightly.
- Best served hot with rice. Keeps refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to a month.