Stir Fried Chicken with Broccoli, Yellow Bell Pepper, and Zucchini
Brilliant green broccoli, yellow bell pepper, and zucchini turn ordinary chicken breasts into a colorful one-dish meal. The trick is to cook every ingredient quickly on its own, adjusting the cooking time so each comes out tender but still a bit crisp. Once you learn this basic technique, you can adapt it to take advantage of whatever small amounts of fresh vegetables, meat, or tofu are left over in the refrigerator. You can also save prep time by buying precut vegetables, like broccoli florets, making this an even faster everyday meal. Serve the stir-fry with rice or soba noodles.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free
Taste and Texturecrisp, garlicky, meaty, nutty, savory, spiced
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Asian chile garlic sauce, or ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 medium-size zucchini or summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice (about 1½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
- 4 cups bite-size broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch strips
- 1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes or ¼-inch strips
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, including whites and 3 inches of green
- About 3 cups cooked rice or soba noodles, for serving
- ½ cup cashews, for garnish
Place the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chile sauce, cornstarch, and ¾ cup of water in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set the soy sauce mixture aside.
Place a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until it is tender and golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil to the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the broccoli and ½ cup of water and cook, stirring constantly, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the bowl with the zucchini.
Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil to the wok. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until it is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bell pepper to the bowl with the zucchini.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon each of the sesame oil and peanut oil to the wok. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the reserved zucchini, broccoli, and bell pepper and the scallions to the chicken. Cook until the vegetables are just heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve the stir-fried mixture immediately with the rice and sprinkle the cashews on top.
2006 Myra Goodman