Chicken and Broccoli. Succulent chicken stir fried with broccoli in a savory brown sauce. A delicious Chinese chicken stir-fry that works well for an easy dinner. Ready in 30 minutes.
What is Chicken and Broccoli?
Chicken and Broccoli is a Chinese stir-fry featuring ultra juicy chicken tossed with crispy broccoli in a savory sauce with a hint of garlic and ginger to round out all the flavors. The tender chicken is velveted in a simple marinade with key ingredients to create that succulent chicken that you can find at Chinese restaurants. The stir-fry sauce is packed with flavor with umami! This chicken broccoli dish is one of my favorite recipes because it's made with simple ingredients, especially if you already have a stocked Asian pantry.
This delicious chicken broccoli recipe tastes so good over white rice (or brown rice). It's an easy chicken dinner that rivals your Chinese restaurant. In addition, this chicken broccoli stir-fry is a nutritious meal packed with fresh broccoli florets, chicken breast, garlic and fresh ginger. The best part is that you can easily make this Chinese food at home with a wok or large skillet! An easy and great recipe to make on a busy weeknight. The cooking process is quite short and most of the time goes towards preparing ingredients. This recipe is adapted from my Beef and Broccoli.
You’ll need the below ingredients for chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe. Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- Chicken breasts: or feel free to substitute with chicken thighs that are skinless and boneless if you prefer dark meat. If you're worried that chicken breast will turn out dry, it won't especially with my tenderizing marinade and as long as you don't overcook the chicken for a long time.
- Broccoli: a large crown of broccoli broken into florets in a similar size.
- Garlic: for that delicious garlicky flavor! A common ingredient used in Chinese stir-fries.
- Fresh ginger: this adds a nice zing and flavor to the dish and helps to round out the salty flavors in the sauce.
- Neutral oil like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils with low smoke points.
- Cold water: ¼ cup of water to help cook the broccoli to make it tender.
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- Cornstarch: a common ingredient in Chinese cooking to help tenderize and velvet the chicken breasts to make them juicy and tender. The cornstarch helps to lock in the moisture from the oil.
- Baking soda: the key ingredient to tenderizing meat because it breaks down the protein strands. It's my favorite way to tenderize meat in Asian cuisine.
- Black pepper
- Neutral oil like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils.
- Sesame oil: to give the chicken that nutty aroma and flavor.
Stir Fry Sauce
- Oyster sauce or sub with vegetarian stir fry sauce: this is different from hoisin sauce and is entirely different in taste! Oyster sauce is savory and salty. Hoisin is very sweet like a barbecue sauce. Don't be fooled by the similar texture and color!
- Regular soy sauce
- White granulated sugar or brown sugar: to help balance the salty flavors from the soy sauce and oyster sauce.
- Shaoxing wine: a Chinese cooking rice wine. If you can't find this at your Asian grocery store, substitute with rice vinegar or Dry Sherry Wine.
- Cornstarch: cornstarch is usually used to help thicken most stir fry sauces. Instead of making a cornstarch slurry, you can mix it right into the stir fry sauce to make things easier!
- Unsalted chicken stock or chicken broth: or substitute with vegetable stock or beef stock. As a very last resort, you can use water.
How to Make Chicken and Broccoli
Thinly slice chicken
Thinly slice chicken against the grain into ¼ inch thick pieces. Optional tip: if chicken is thawed, freeze chicken in a reusable bag for 45-60 minutes and when it's slightly frozen, so you will be able to cut it very thinly.
Marinate thinly sliced chicken with Marinade ingredients (as listed above) for 15 minutes.
Make Stir Fry Sauce
In a small bowl, mix Stir Fry Sauce ingredients (as listed above) until well combined and set aside.
In a hot wok or large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, add oil. Once you have hot oil, fry chicken until cooked. Remove chicken from pan.
Add Aromatics & Broccoli
Into the pan, add ginger, garlic, and broccoli. Pour ¼ cup water into pan and mix with broccoli. Cook until broccoli becomes vibrant green, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour in Stir Fry Sauce
Once broccoli is vibrant green, move it to the side of the pan. Pour in stir fry sauce mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer to thicken. Mix with your broccoli.
Toss in Cooked Chicken
Once you have a thicker sauce, the final step is to add in cooked chicken and toss everything together. Remove off heat. Serve and enjoy!
This broccoli chicken stir fry will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, you can cook it on the stovetop in a nonstick pan or microwave it for a couple of minutes.
- Source broccoli that is crisp in texture (not limp) with a vibrant dark green color without any yellowing.
- To easily slice the chicken into thin bite-size pieces, freeze thawed chicken for 45-60 minutes exposed to the freezer air and use a sharp knife. This hardens the exterior making it more easy to create thin pieces.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes for very tender chicken! Do not skip the baking soda or cornstarch. This is critical for tender chicken.
- Careful to not overcook the chicken. Cook until it's no longer pink and a little brown on the edges.
- Use water to help you steam cook the broccoli so you don't need to parboil it separately.
Can I substitute the broccoli with other vegetables?
Yes, here's a list of substitutions for this chicken broccoli stir fry:
- green beans
- snap peas
- snow peas
- bell peppers
Can I add in the broccoli stems?
Yes! But in this case, I would suggest doubling the sauce portion.
May I replace the chicken with another type of protein?
Yes, feel free to substitute with beef like flank steak, pork, or shrimp.
Other stir fry recipes you may enjoy!
- Beef and Broccoli
- Black Pepper Chicken
- Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Stir Fry
Quick & Easy Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
- 1 lb chicken breast skinless boneless (or sub with chicken thighs)
- 1 large broccoli crown chopped into similar size florets
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ inch ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or any neutral oil
- ¼ cup water
Stir Fry Sauce (If you prefer more sauce, double the quantity of ingredients below:)
- Thinly slice chicken breast against the grain into ¼-inch thick pieces. Transfer sliced chicken into a large bowl. Optional tip: to easily thinly slice the chicken breast, freeze the thawed breasts for 45-60 minutes and it'll be much easier to slice.
- Marinate thinly sliced chicken with Marinade ingredients (as listed above) for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix Stir Fry Sauce ingredients (as listed above) until well combined and set aside. Note: If you prefer a very saucy stir fry, double the quantity of ingredients for the Stir Fry Sauce only.
- In a wok or large nonstick pan on medium-high heat, add vegetable oil or any neutral oil. Once oil is hot, fry chicken until cooked. Remove chicken from pan.
- Into the pan, add ginger, garlic, and broccoli. Pour water into pan and mix with broccoli. Cook until broccoli becomes vibrant green, about 1-2 minutes.
- Once broccoli is vibrant green, move it to the side of the pan. Pour in stir fry sauce mixture. Allow sauce to simmer a bit to thicken and mix with broccoli.
- When sauce has thickened, add in cooked chicken and toss everything together. Remove off heat. Serve and enjoy!