Chicken and Broccoli in Brown Sauce
So I love Chinese food and this is one the most awesome Chinese Recipes I have ever made. Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable and goes so well with Chicken. It’s such a wonderful combination that there are truly a million recipes for Chicken and Broccoli available on the internet! Today’s recipe on Sautéed and Baked has been inspired by the select few good Asian restaurants in India. This is a recipe which has taken me time to perfect and after several tries, I have finally come up with an incredibly balanced, delicately flavorful and perfectly cooked Chinese recipe!
Just remember that Chinese food is best eaten straight off the stove when it’s piping hot. In a perfectly cooked Chinese recipe, the vegetables are always 3/4th the way cooked and continues to cook as it is served hot and hot! That way you’ll get an amazing crunch and sweetness when eating a Chinese dish with vegetables in it! And yes the Chinese eat a lot of vegetables and greens as a part of their daily diet.
Through this recipe, I will endeavor to teach you all about the subtle flavors involved in Chinese Cooking. In my previous recipes such as the Ultimate Homemade Chinese Recipe and Chicken with Carrot and Baby Spinach, I have tried to teach you some secrets and subtleties of Chinese Cuisine. Today you’ll learn how to make Chinese Brown Sauce which is made and used in Chinese restaurants all over the world. This simple sauce can make all the difference between a good and great Chinese Recipe! Trust me and follow each and every step given in this recipe. Chinese Food is much more that Chilli Chicken and Manchurian and Garlic Chicken as we know it to be in India.
- Chicken - 500 Grams Boneless and Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
- Broccoli - 1 Medium Sized cut into Florettes
- Chicken Stock - 1 Cup
- Garlic - ½ a Head Finely Chopped
- Ginger - ½ inch Piece Finely Chopped
- White Pepper - ¼th Teaspoon
- Spring Onions - ½ Cup Finely Chopped, White and Green parts Separated
- Dried Red Chillies - 3 to 4 Whole
- Dark Soy Sauce - 3 Tablespoons
- Oyster Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- MSG - 1 Pinch
- Salt - To Taste
- Sugar - ½ Teaspoon
- Corn Flour - 3 Tablespoons (or more depending on quality of store bought corn flour)
- Cooking Oil - Enough for Deep Frying
- For the Brown Sauce:-
- Mix ¾th Cup of Chicken Stock, 2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce, 1 Teaspoon of Chopped Garlic, ¼th Teaspoon of Chopped Ginger, the Oyster Sauce, 1 Tablespoon of the Spring Onion white, Sugar and set aside. Make sure that the Sauce is mixed really well.
- Let the Brown Sauce soak up the flavors for a good 20 minutes to half an hour. This is crucial for a great Chinese Recipe.
- The Chicken has to be cut into bite-sized pieces on the bias as this will allow the Chicken pieces to retain most of their moisture.
- Add the White Pepper, ½ Teaspoon of Salt and ½ Teaspoon of Chopped Garlic and mix well.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of water to the Chicken and mix it in well. Let this sit for 20 minutes to half an hour to an hour. After an hour, you will see most of the water has been absorbed by the chicken.
- After an hour, add 1 and ½ Tablespoons of Corn Flour and mix in well. The corn flour should look like a thin white film over the chicken pieces.
- After that immediately add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil to the Chicken and mix in very well. This will prevent the chicken pieces from sticking together while frying.
- Place a wok on the stove on high heat and wait till the wok is smoking hot and then add enough oil to fry the chicken pieces.
- Wait till the oil is hot enough and then add the chicken pieces. Do not overcrowd the wok or else the chicken will not turn crispy.
- Fry for a total of 6 minutes on medium-high heat and keep turning over the chicken pieces in oil for even cooking.
- Remove from heat and then add the fried chicken pieces to the oil once again and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. This will make the chicken absolutely crispy.
- Once this is done, remove most of the oil from the wok. Leave just about 2 Tablespoons of oil in the wok. Turn the heat up to high.
- Once the wok is smoking hot, add the Broccoli to the wok and stir-fry the Broccoli till half cooked. Parts of the broccoli will get seared while frying and this will add plenty of flavor to the dish.
- Once done, remove from wok and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Turn heat down to medium low.
- Add the remaining chopped Garlic and Whole Red Chillies and sauté until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown as this will make the entire dish bitter.
- Pour in the Brown Sauce and let it come to a gentle rolling boil. Add salt as per your taste preference and the MSG. Stir well.
- Add the remaining Chicken Stock to the wok and stir well.
- Add the white part of the chopped Spring Onions now.
- Once the sauce has come to a rolling boil, carefully drop in the broccoli and stir gently. Turn heat up to high. Cook broccoli till 60% done.
- This stage should not take more than 4 minutes.
- Make a slurry of the remaining corn flour with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Add this to the wok and stir. Reduce heat to low.
- If a thicker gravy consistency is needed then make some more slurry with very little water and corn flour and add to the wok. Work quickly as you do not want to overcook the broccoli.
- Check seasoning and adjust if needed.
- The broccoli will be ¾th the way cooked which is what is needed for this recipe.
- Drop in the fried chicken pieces and serve immediately.
- Garnish with chopped green part of spring onions.
- Enjoy with steamed rice or noodles or fried rice.
If the instructions given above are followed then you should have ended up with an awesome dish like this –
You’ll find that each and every ingredient in this dish stands out ever so subtly. The balance of the flavors of this dish is also spot on! Please do not alter the quantities of any of the ingredients mentioned or else you will alter the flavor of the entire dish. Achieving such a balance of flavors will take you a bit of time to master but keep the faith and soldier on. You will be justly rewarded with the most amazing food!
Did you know that the Chinese add Corn Flour to their food for a silky texture and for gloss and not just for thickening up gravies and sauces? That is amazing attention to detail! Good Chinese chefs know exactly how much of corn flour to use in their dishes to achieve the correct balance of thickness, silkiness, and glossiness!
The number of steps in the instructions might be many but do not be daunted by this. All these steps are necessary to the recipe and are in great detail to make this recipe easier for you. These steps fly by pretty quickly as the actual cooking time of this recipe is barely 10 to 15 minutes.
So go ahead and do make this recipe. You will pick up some important tips while making this recipe as you go along as this recipe is brimming over with tips which can help you make the perfect Chinese dish! Enjoy!