A quick and healthy meal cooked Chinese-style, stir-fried broccoli with cashews is delicious served with hot steamed rice or noodles. In this chicken recipe, skinless and boneless chicken breasts are cut into chunks and marinated in a sweet, tangy and salty mixture of sugar, garlic and soy sauce and then stir-fried in hot oil. The dish is combined with red bell peppers, broccoli, and onions and seasoned with chicken broth thickened with cornstarch. The dish is garnished with cashews to add a nutty flavor and crunch.
To keep the chicken moist and juicy, cook it quickly in a very hot pan. The chicken should turn a nice brown color. The vegetables should also be cooked quickly to retain their bright color and flavor. The broccoli should be tender but with a pleasant crunch. Using a wok is ideal for cooking recipes, but you can also use a frying pan as long as it has a thick bottom. A thick and heavy-bottomed pan will prevent the chicken and vegetables from burning and allow for even heat distribution.
Also called chicken cutlets or chicken supreme, boneless and skinless chicken breasts are quick cooking and are lean and tender. They are low in fat and are a healthy choice for an everyday meal. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are available in the market, but you can also slice the whole chicken and use the breast for this recipe. Peel of the skin before marinating and cooking. Overcooking the chicken breast will make it dry and stringy or it might disintegrate and lose its structure.
Ingredients: 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, 3 med. cloves garlic, minced, 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks, 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 4 tsp. cornstarch, 2 tbsp. + 1 tbsp. peanut oil, 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips, 4 cup broccoli pieces, 1 med. onion, chopped, 1 cup cashew halves
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce and garlic. Add chicken chunks. Stir to coat thoroughly. Set aside. In another bowl, combine chicken broth with cornstarch, whisking until there are no lumps. Set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken chunks; stir-fry 4-5 minutes. Add remaining oil, pepper and broccoli. Stir-fry for about 3 more minutes. Add onion; stir-fry an additional 2-3 more minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cashews and serve with rice or lo mien noodles.
The stir-frying method allows the chicken chunks to retain its shape even after cooking on medium-high heat for a beautiful presentation. The broccoli and red bell peppers also provide a pleasant color contrast for a lively and vibrant meal.