Growing up one of my dearest best friends was Chinese American. Her mother was a fabulous cook, and made many authentic Chinese meals for my family as a way to show her gratitude to my Mom who would often watch my friend while her Mom worked, since my Mom was a stay at home Mom, when we were younger. Whenever I was over my friends house and her Mom was in the kitchen I was always right there watching her, as she was gracious enough to explain what she was making and let me into her kitchen. I was enthralled by the culture of Chinese cooking and all the fresh ingredients that were used to make fabulous dishes with glorious sauces, and it was because of this window into Asian cooking and the culture that led me to my passion. To be honest many of my dishes are a fusion of Italian, Asian, and Mexican cooking because they are so rich in culture and culinary masterpieces that I just gravitate to the beauty of it all.
I know that “fusion” has become such a hipster term, but it really does adequately describe my style of cooking. I am so glad that I was able to introduce my teens to many different cultures and cuisines by way of having an International Night as we had. It was educational and helped them when they learned about different countries in school, but it also was a fun time to share with them and get them to love a variety of different food.
My Chinese Chicken and Broccoli is my take on Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. One of the reasons I resist ordering this dish out is because most Chinese Restaurants make this with gloopy sauce and flavorless chicken and it is barely palatable.
Mine is seared in a wok at high heat with some dry rub on it for flavor, along with a coating that is quite unique. No bland grayish white chicken here. I kick up the veg factor with some red bell pepper and sliced carrots, along with a light orange soy sauce that is so delicious, and I steam the broccoli before hand to ensure it is perfectly cooked, before incorporating it into the dish.
I hope you give this a try. It is the perfect comfort food and so much better than takeout, I promise!
Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
A twist on a classic Chinese takeout fav, that's quick, easy, and so much better than takeout!
- 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch chucks
- 1 1/2 tsp. of Chinese Five spice
- 2 tbsp. of flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. of Sambal Oelek (Chinese chili paste sold at most Asian markets or some grocery stores.
- 1 lb. of broccoli florets (Steam in microwave for about three minutes, I use microwave grade steam bags to make this a breeze)
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced diagonal
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger minced
- zest of one orange, including juice
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. of sesame oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- White rice or Jasmine rice (I use Jasmine rice which is a fragrant delicious rice native to Thailand, I just adore it)
For the sauce
Combine the soy sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, and ginger, whisk in a small bowl and set aside. *I like to add some orange pulp to the mixture for extra flavor.
For the chicken rub and coating
Mix salt, pepper, Chinese Five spice together to make a rub. Generously coat chicken.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, orange zest, and Sambal Oelek, to make a coating. Mix well, then dredge the pieces in the mixture, coating well. You can add more Sambal Oelek if desired, but it is a bit spicy. This should coat the chicken nicely, it will be wet, but it will sear the chicken nicely.
- Heat a wok at high heat, add 1 tbsp. of sesame oil, add chicken and sear. You will cook through so just get a nice sear on the chicken. Set aside on separate plate. When all pieces have been seared, add more sesame oil, then add the carrots, and red pepper, cook about 3 to 4 min, add steamed broccoli, cook another minute, then add in the chicken. Sauté about another 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce, mix well to combine and let cook about 15 minutes to cook through.
- Make rice according to directions for the type you are using.
- Add a large serving of rice to plate, and spoon chicken and broccoli over rice. Serve with more soy sauce or homemade Chinese hot mustard, if desired! Devour!!