I got asked on the weekend, what do I cook when I come home from work, I’m tired but I want to eat something delicious and nutritious. I looked through my archive and found this Kung Pao recipe which I adapted over the years. It takes about 30 minutes to make but oh so delicious and great with white or brown rice. As always my notes are at the bottom. 

If you have a rice cooker, wash 1 (or 2) cup(s) of Basmati rice and start the process using the recommended guidelines for the cooker (if you don’t have a rice cooker – get one, it is an amazingly handy piece of equipment I have grown to love – if you eat rice a couple of times a week as we do, it will be one of those “how did I ever live without this?” items). Note, Brown rice takes substantially longer so read the instructions on the package.

1 large chicken breast – deboned and skinless, or 3 skinless/boneless thighs cut into pieces
salt/pepper – to rub onto the chicken
4 garlic cloves mashed – 2 to rub onto the chicken, 2 to add to the onions
1 cup broccoli florets and stems – bite sized pieces
1 onion – sliced
1 tsp ginger mashed
2 tblsp’s olive oil
1 tsp dried chili flakes or 1 tblsp sambal (we like it spicy so adjust to your taste)
2 tblsp low sodium soya sauce
1 tblsp hoisin sauce
1 tblsp rice vinegar

Cut the chicken into strips and then into bite sized pieces
Rub with salt/pepper and garlic mash – let sit
Heat the oil, add the onion and saute for 2 minutes
Add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes – saute for 30 seconds
Add the broccoli and stir fry for a minute, add 1/2 cup water cover and let the broccoli cook until tender crisp – about 2 minutes – check after one minute – taste the broccoli
When the broccoli is done, add 1 tablespoon of the soya sauce – stir and remove from the pan with any liquid – keep warm

On medium high heat, and using the same pan (make sure to dry it off first), add 2 tblsp olive oil
Add the chicken pieces and stir to cook – don’t overcrowd the chicken you don’t want it to simmer, but fry
Add the above ingredients and stir – taste for flavor add more seasonings as required – soya sauce for saltiness, hoisin for depth, vinegar for freshness
Remove the chicken from the pan – keep warm
If too much liquid is in the pan, make a slurry of 1 tsp corn starch and a couple of teaspoons of water and add it to the pan – include any accumulated liquid from the broccoli and chicken, bring it to a boil – it will thicken up – taste again
Add the chicken and now add the broccoli back to the pan, mix everything together
Serve over rice (the rice cooker takes about 20 minutes so it should be ready by the time the chicken is done).

– It’s really important to know what seasonings you are working with to get the right taste – if you are unsure, try every ingredient before you add it in. Put the ingredient on it’s own in a bowl and dip your finger tip (whether cooking for yourself or for others, you must wash your hands a lot and your finger is the best taster you have) into it and taste it. It is the only way to know what to add.
– Your broccoli should be al dente after the saute so if you add it in with the chicken it will overcook and become mushy and grey/green, so add it back in last
– You can add more heat with fresh Thai Chilis
– For more body to the meal, add red, yellow or green peppers or more chicken.