As you might know already from last week’s Sweet and Sour Chicken and Loaded Vegetable Lo Mein, I’m on a takeout-at-home kick this month. When I first decided to do a series of quick, lightened-up versions of fast food and takeout meals, I wasn’t sure of all the dishes I’d wind up trying to replicate, but there was no question that I’d have to make a spin on my absolute favorite Chinese order: Chicken and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce. As a garlic-lover– no, a garlic devotee– anything dripping with garlicky sauce is an automatic YES YES YES in my book. If you’re with me, fellow garlic-fanatics, this Chicken and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce is a must-make. It’s appropriately garlicky without being overwhelming, tastier than the takeout version, easy to make on a weeknight, and guilt-free, to boot.
Speaking of garlicky recipes, have I ever told you my favorite story about James’ kitchen adventures? After we graduated from college and he moved back home, he decided to whip up some of my recipes himself. One night, he excitedly told me that he’d be making one of my dishes for dinner, and I asked him to let me know what he thought when he finished eating. But when dinnertime had long passed and I still hadn’t heard from him, I decided to check in and give him a call.
As soon as he picked up, I could tell that he was working hard to hide some serious irritation.
“This recipe uses 3 cloves of garlic. The prep time says 20 minutes,” he said. “Who can chop 3 cloves of garlic in 20 minutes? I even got my dad to help me and we’re still chopping.”
After a long pause of pure confusion, I realized that he was not chopping 3 cloves of garlic. He was chopping 3 heads of garlic. Three whole heads! And I have no plans to ever let him live it down.
Mind you, I have made far more embarrassing cooking mistakes. Once, I accidentally added a cup of powdered sugar instead of a cup of flour to a muffin recipe. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to turn on the burner and stood staring in confusion at a pot of water that never came to a boil. Then there was that time that I basically maced myself and all of my housemates by burning a peppercorn crust. Good times.
But the garlic story, that’s the one I love to tell the most. Probably because I wasn’t the one who made the mistake… Sorry James.
This recipe uses 5 cloves of garlic, along with a bit of sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chicken broth to flavor the sauce. The chicken is tossed lightly in cornstarch, which gives it a little bit of coating for the sauce to cling to without taking it into deep-fried breading territory. Of course, it uses broccoli (hence the name), but I also throw in some snow peas, baby corn, and water chestnuts for crunch. It’s just like the kind you get when you order out, but a hundred times better.
The Chicken and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce is approximately 382 calories per 2 cup serving without rice, and is high in niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C! It also only takes 30 minutes to make.
When you try the Chicken and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, don’t forget to tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter to show off your tasty, easy dinner! Also, make sure to check back throughout the month for more tasty spins on takeout and fast food dishes from home!
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup snow peas
- ½ cup baby corn
- 4 oz water chestnuts, sliced
- White rice, to serve
- In a large, sealable freezer bag, toss the chicken breast pieces with ⅓ cup of cornstarch. Shake and turn the sealed bag until all of the chicken has a light, even coating. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chicken broth, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Set aside.
- Add ⅓ cup water to a large, high-walled skillet over medium-high heat. Place the broccoli florets on top, cover, and cook until bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the chicken from the freezer bag, shaking off excess cornstarch, and place in the skillet. Stir fry until browned all over, but not cooked through.
- Mix in the sauce ingredients and let cook for 3 minutes. Then add back in the broccoli, along with the snow peas, baby corn, and water chestnuts. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.
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