Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry -- Low Carb

It was a chilly morning here -- 28 degrees when I woke up! For dinner, I made a super quick chicken-broccoli stir-fry and tweaked one of my old recipes for marinating the chicken before stir-frying (with some modifications, of course). My old recipe used cornstarch as part of the mixture to marinate the chicken -- it helped the chicken retain its juices when stir-frying so it stayed nice and juicy...and then later, when you added the broth to make the sauce, it helped thicken the broth. Instead of using cornstarch, I substituted the same amount of peanut flour which is super fine in texture -- as fine as cornstarch. It turned out great and kept the chicken super moist the same way the cornstarch would when I used it. To add a little additional thickness to my sauce, I stirred in some peanut butter until I achieved the consistency I wanted. The peanut flour helps keep the chicken from releasing its juices when cooking and it doesn't end up "boiling in its own juice". If you do much stir-frying at all, you know what I mean -- sometimes the juices cook out of the chicken and then it literally begins to boil in its own juices, which is not ideal when you are stir-frying. You can use peanut butter stirred into the broth mixture to thicken your sauce -- it works great as a thickening agent for stir-fries. I snapped a couple photos below. Enjoy!

Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fry
Makes 3 to 4 servings


1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 to 4 cups raw broccoli florets, lightly steamed
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons peanut flour
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock (depending on desired thickness of sauce)
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter (depending on desired thickness of sauce)
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
Roasted peanuts for garnish, optional


In a medium bowl, combine chicken, sherry, Tamari, peanut flour and garlic; mix until well combined; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and swirl to cover bottom of pan. Carefully add chicken along with marinade into the wok and cook, stirring frequently until chicken is white in the center and cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. While chicken is cooking, cook broccoli florets and carrots (either steam on the stove top until crisp-tender or place in a covered microwave safe casserole with a few tablespoons of water and cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender and still retain bright color).

Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the wok with the chicken, stirring until it begins to thicken. Add red pepper flakes, if desired. Reduce heat and continue adding stock until the sauce is desired consistency. Stir in peanut butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to thicken. Use remaining stock to adjust sauce to desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Add drained broccoli and carrots to wok and stir until chicken and vegetables are well coated with sauce. Serve over cauliflower rice and sprinkle with roasted peanuts, if desired.

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