This quick and easy chicken broccoli stir-fry recipe is ready in 30 minutes! A one-pan dish packed with hearty protein and vegetables, simmered in a savory garlic soy sauce.
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Grab your wok. It’s time to make a delicious broccoli chicken stir-fry! I always have these two ingredients in my fridge for a healthy dinner. Paired with a flavorful garlic soy sauce served over rice, it will be your new favorite Chinese dish at home.
The trickiest part of cooking poultry and cruciferous vegetables is timing. I’ll show you how to sear the meat and steam the broccoli to make this a one-pan dish. It all comes together in the hot wok in less than 15 minutes. No need to order takeout!
Marinate the chicken
For a quick cooking, lean protein option, use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cut the pieces against the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices. If you prefer dark meat, use chicken thighs. To prevent the dish from becoming too greasy, trim the excess fat.
I recommend purchasing 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds of thighs since you will discard a portion of the product. Briefly marinate the chicken in soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch for at least 10 minutes. This creates a flavorful surface and crust on the chicken. I like to do this step first, then finish prepping the other parts of the recipe.
Make the stir-fry sauce
I combine essential Chinese pantry staples to make a balanced sauce with a strong umami flavor. The sauce ingredients combine soy sauce, chicken broth or stock, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and cornstarch to thicken the sauce. You can even make the stir-fry sauce several days in advance for meal prep.
Stir-fry the chicken
Use a wok or a large nonstick skillet for cooking the stir-fry. To quickly develop flavor on the surface of the sliced chicken, sear it in hot vegetable and sesame oil. Spread it in a single layer, and let the pieces brown, without moving, for a few minutes.
Stir-fry to finish cooking the meat, but don’t overcook, as the lean poultry can dry out fast! Transfer the pieces to a clean bowl to make room for cooking the broccoli.
Cook the broccoli
Broccoli florets are very tough and fibrous. To quickly tenderize the tough vegetable, cut them into 2-inch pieces. Instead of using a separate pot to blanch the florets, you can do it directly in the hot wok. Add the broccoli along with ¼ cup of water. This will steam the florets in just a few minutes.
They shouldn’t be thoroughly cooked, as they will continue to soften when the sauce is added. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. They add a pleasant spice and aroma to the dish.
Thicken the sauce
To finish the chicken, stir-fry with broccoli and add the sauce to the center of the hot pan. Continuously stir until the sauce is thickened. It will take less than a minute. The hot liquid and steam will continue to tenderize the broccoli.
Add the chicken back to the pan to warm for a few minutes. I like to garnish with some sesame seeds right before serving.
Serve this with
- Steamed rice, like white or brown rice
- Fried rice
- Chow mein
- Chicken lo mein
- Crab rangoon
- Wonton soup
Frequently asked questions
A mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock, rice vinegar, a sweetener like honey, sugar (or brown sugar), and cornstarch. Once cooked, the thickened savory sauce clings to the meat and vegetables.
Cook the chicken first in hot oil. This quickly sears the meat, making the pieces more flavorful on the surface. Remove the pieces while cooking the other ingredients, then add them back after thickening the sauce to warm.
No, the broccoli is added to the pan raw. It’s steamed separately from the chicken with a small amount of water to tenderize the vegetable. If using blanched florets can be used, skip the steaming step.
Using frozen broccoli in stir-fries
Frozen broccoli florets are an affordable and convenient option to use in stir-fries. They come chopped into smaller pieces and blanched. Add them directly to the pan while frozen, then cook until defrosted. Then add the sauce to finish the dish. The pieces may be softer in texture compared to fresh, as the plants’ cell walls freeze, they rupture as it defrosts during cooking.
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Chicken Broccoli Stir-fry
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, or thighs, ½" thick slices
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup unsalted chicken stock , or broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey, or sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 5 cups broccoli florets, about 2" pieces
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ⅓ teaspoon sesame seeds, (optional)
- Marinate the Chicken – In a medium bowl, combine sliced chicken, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, and pepper. Marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
- Make the Sauce – In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Whisk in cornstarch until no lumps remain. Set aside.
- Cook the Chicken – Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and sesame oil. Once hot and shimmering, carefully add the chicken in a single layer. Cook without moving until browned, about 2 minutes. Stir-fry until no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate.
- Cook the Broccoli – Add the broccoli and water to the pan. Stir-fry until the florets are bright green and the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Thicken the Sauce – Whisk the stir-fry sauce. Make a well in the center of the pan, then add the sauce, and stir continuously until thickened, about 1 minute.
- To Serve – Add the chicken to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the broccoli is tender and the chicken is warm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds (if using). Serve immediately.
- Recipe Yield: 4 cups
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Using Chicken Thighs: Purchase 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds. Trim off the excess fat.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use oyster sauce like Lee Kum Kee Green Label or Kikkoman. Use tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce.
- Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Cover and microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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