Monday, February 7, 2011

Chinese Take-Out at Home

I had a craving for Chinese take-out but I am trying to stay on track with eating well.  So what to do? ...

I made a healthier version of chicken and broccoli at home.  I already had a nice bunch of beautiful, organic broccoli and boneless chicken breasts on hand, so chicken and broccoli stir-fry it was.  I love this Food Network Kitchens recipe because it is A:  delicious; B: uses the broccoli stems in addition to the florets - no waste; C: it's easy to put together; D:  it's way healthier than take-out!  I like to be able to control the quality of ingredients and ultimately calories.  Give this stir-fry a try - guaranteed you will love it! 

Carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, water chestnuts and corn all would make great additions - a stir-fry is a great way to use up the produce that you have on hand.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
Courtesy:  Food Network Kitchens

Marinate the chicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
About 1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds, optional
Serving suggestion: Jasmine rice


In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates and garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.

Eat. Live. Be. Results Update:

It is the first Monday of the month and time to reflect on the progress of my goals.  Well my pantry looks as bad as ever - big fail in that area!  I am making a really big effort to use what I have in the house and have resisted the urge to overbuy (especially produce).  I even put my vegetable box on hold for now.  I have been religiously reading labels and eating really well.  I also have been exercising regularly - yay me!


  1. Well done! Labels and excercise lead to great things.

  2. The recipe is wonderful - just packed with goodness and I love cooking with sesame oil - the aroma relaxes me! I am slowly using up my freezer and nothing goes in it until I have used up what we already have. It's an ongoing process. Labels are the most wonderful things!

  3. I love making take out foods at home...this way I get to fulfill my cravings without waking up the next morning feeling like a tub of lard. This sounds delicious!

  4. You're reminding me I haven't made Chinese food for a long time. This is a great way to get back into it. I used to have a Chinese friend who ate only the stalks of broccoli - threw away the florets. It's interesting that other people throw away the stalks and eat only the florets, when the entire vegetable is so delicious and nutritious.

  5. Wow- it sounds like you're doing a great job staying on track- and with recipes like this one, I can see why!

  6. I do a similar recipe with flank steak (or did, until I stopped eating red meat). Can't wait to try this version. It looks mouthwatering good. And YAY for working through the food you have in your house. I need to work on that too.

  7. I agree that making food at home is a great way to control what goes into the meal. This looks really good

  8. This one looks way better than Chinese take out. YUM!

  9. This is such a great idea, Jen! Your meal looks so much more delicious than anything I could get from a restaurant!

  10. How wonderful to be able to make this at home. This is a lovely version of the dish and it sounds absolutely delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Looks even better than what they would serve in a restaurant. One of my favorites!

  12. It is so much healthier to make at home and always tastes so much better as well. Looks wonderful!