How many ways can you cook chicken and broccoli together? In my archive, I counted at least three: chicken broccoli pasta with cream cheese sauce, chicken broccoli stir fry, and chicken soup with broccoli and misua. But considering that there is no limit to the ways that chicken and broccoli can go together in one dish, that would be a short list indeed. Let me add a fourth—chili black beans and garlic chicken broccoli.
Cooked with Asian pantry staples, the most important step to ensure that you get maximum flavors is to allow the chicken enough time to marinate in the sauces. Overnight would be ideal but, if you’re short on prep time, an hour or two should suffice so long as the chicken fillets are cut small enough to allow quick absorption.
Chinese black beans and garlic sauce is available in jars in the Asian section of the grocery. It’s so convenient to use because you don’t have to pound fermented black beans and mince garlic.
Chili oil, the kind you often find in a condiment jar in Chinese restaurants, is also available in the grocery. The sauce is a mixture of minced roasted chilies and the oil in which it has soaked.
Garnishing the chili black beans and garlic chicken broccoli with toasted nuts is optional but I do recommend it. In my husband’s words, nuts make a simple stir fry so much more delectable.
- 6 to 7 chicken thigh fillets
- 2 heaping teaspoons black beans and garlic sauce
- 2 heaping teaspoons chili oil (with the bits of minced roasted chilies)
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 shallot (or ½ onion)
- ½ cup julienned carrot
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- toasted nuts, to garnish (optional)
- Pat the chicken thigh fillets dry with paper towels. Cut into strips about half an inch wide.
- Place the chicken strips in a bowl. Add the black beans and garlic sauce as well as the chili oil. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours; overnight is best.
- Cut the broccoli into florets.
- In a pan, boil four cups of water with a teaspoon of salt. Drop in the broccoli florets and cook for one minute. Scoop out and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. When smoking, add the chicken with the marinade. Stir fry for three to four minutes. Add the sliced shallot (or onion), julienned carrot and sugar. Continue stir frying for another minute.
- Throw in the broccoli florets and stir. Cook just until heated through. If you want a little more sauce, stir in a couple of tablespoonfuls of chicken broth.
- Give the chicken a final taste test. If the seasonings need adjustment, make it now.
- You may optionally sprinkle the chili black beans and garlic chicken broccoli with toasted nuts before serving.