I knew going in to this weekend that it was going to be a work-oriented one. Leaving work on Friday afternoon, I had a stack of papers to grade in my cart and very few lesson plans entered for next week. On weekends such as these, when my husband (also a teacher) and I spend most of our time at home surrounded by a sea of papers, book, and laptops, cooking is my lifeline to sanity.
So last night I set aside the grading and got myself into the kitchen to make a new Asian recipe. John loves Asian food, and I wanted to try a new recipe from the Weight Watchers cookbook a friend gave me for Christmas. The Spicy Chicken and Broccoli turned out well, although the sauce never did thicken very much for me despite the use of cornstarch. I left it on the stove longer than the recipe said, even, in the hopes that the extended exposure of heat would do the trick. It did not.
The orange sections in the dish were a wonderful surprise. Stirred in at the end, they had just enough time to get warm and absorb the flavors of the sauce. While it seemed a little odd to me, having huge hunks of orange in the dish, John and I both enjoyed those bites the best. I never did figure out where the “Spicy” in the title came from; I would not consider this to be a spicy entree. Overall, this Weight Watchers recipe earned a 3-out-of-5 star rating. I did not think it quite matched up to the Steak and Edamame Stir-Fry from earlier this month.
Spicy Chicken and Broccoli
1/4 cup + 2 TB water
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp canola oil
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
4 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 TB minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
3 TB reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1. Stir together 2 TB of water and the cornstarch in cup until smooth.
2. Heat nonstick wok or deep large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until drop of water sizzles in pan; add oil and swirl to coat pan. Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate.
3. Add broccoli and bell pepper to wok; stir-fry, 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup water; cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute.
4. Re-stir cornstarch mixture. Return chicken to wok. Add broth, orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch mixture; stir-fry until sauce bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. (Hopefully that works better for you than it did for me!) Stir in orange sections. Serve with rice.
Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture and 1/2 cup rice). Per serving, 8 PointsPlus.