This is the model recipe for making stir-fried chicken with firm vegetables, those that must be parboiled before stir-frying, like asparagus pieces, carrot chunks, and eggplant cubes. The extra step actually saves time—rather than stir-frying everything, it’s much faster to soften broccoli and like vegetables with a quick parboiling . But if you want to cook everything in one pan, just cut the broccoli into small dice— 1/2 inch or so—and cook it as you would the cabbage in the recipe that follows.
2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets and stems, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 medium to large onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped scallion, plus more for garnish
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs,
cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks or thin slices and
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock white wine, or water
MAKES: 4 servings, with rice
TIME: 20 to 30 minutes
- Parboil the broccoli or cauliflower for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water, then drain.
- Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around, and immediately add half the garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli or cauliflower and the scallion and cook over high heat until the broccoli or cauliflower becomes tender but not at all mushy, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium and remove the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken.
- Raise the heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Return the vegetables to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar if you like, then the soy sauce; toss again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the liquid.
- Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you’ve scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Garnish with scallion and serve.
- Stir-Fried Chicken with Kale or Collards.
- If you’re just using leaves, you can follow the recipe for Stir-Fried Chicken with Cabbage. If you want to include stems, substitute 2 cups kale or collard leaves and stems for the broccoli. Simmer the greens for about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water, squeeze dry, and chop