Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry - Low Carb "Take-in"

Today was an overcast and cool day here. We slept in again which was nice. It drizzled on and off as we ran our errands. Youngest son came for dinner this evening so I made dinner that contained two of his favorites...chicken and broccoli. I put together the quickest and easiest meal...Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry. I began preparing our meal at 5:45 and it was ready to eat at 6:15. If we had placed an order for "take-out", it would have taken at least that long to get it and it would have included yucky corn starch, no doubt. Most stir-fry sauces and foods contain corn starch as a thickener. I have made plenty of stir-fries in my day and they all included corn starch to either marinate the meat and or make the sauce. 

Not too long after going wheat and grain free a couple of years ago, I experimented a bit because stir-fry was one of my favorite kind of meals. I used nut butter as my thickener (peanut, almond and cashew). I was both amazed and thrilled at how nicely they thickened chicken or beef stock to duplicate the consistency of sauce traditionally thickened with cornstarch. If you like Kung Pao Chicken, peanut butter is awesome for thickening the sauce. If you don't want to taste the nut butter, cashew butter is the best to use because it's so mild and the other seasonings (garlic, red pepper, Tamari, etc) are the only flavors you'll taste. If you miss Chinese take-out, you will love this way of making your own Chinese "take-in" instead. You can do the same thing with shrimp or beef stir-fry too. Make it soon....thank me later! LOL I literally had dinner on the table in 30 minutes and that included making jasmine rice for the guys to eat with their meal. That is from start to finish, including chopping time, cooking time...everything! To save even more time, you could also buy pre-cut and washed bagged broccoli instead. Enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry


2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into approximate 1-inch cubes
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced, optional
3 to 4 tablespoons cashew butter (or preferred nut butter such as peanut or almond)
1 cup chicken stock
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
2 tablespoons gluten-free Tamari sauce, or to taste


Heat coconut oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat; add garlic an stir-fry about 1 minute. Move garlic up the side of wok to keep away from direct heat; increase heat to medium high and add chicken and stir frequently until cooked and no longer translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. While chicken is cooking, place broccoli florets and carrots in a covered microwave safe casserole with a few tablespoons of water and cook on high for about 2 minutes, until lightly steamed (or if preferred, steam in a pan on top of stove). When chicken is cooked, add drained broccoli and carrots, along with garlic on inside of pan; stir-fry together, tossing frequently. 

Move chicken and veggies aside, making a well in the center of wok. Add cashew butter and stir until melted; add 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir until a thickened sauce forms; add additional stock a little at a time to thin to desired consistency. Season with pinch of red pepper flakes and Tamari, to taste. Adjust sauce until desired consistency is reached; add additional cashew butter to thicken or stock to thin. Stir chicken, veggies and sauce together to coat. If desired, top with roasted cashews, almonds or peanuts.



Anonymous said...

Wow, didn't know that nut butters could be used as a sauce base. Thank You for posting this.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

You are so welcome. I found out by just experimenting a bit and wanted to see if it would work. It works amazing! :-)

Ginny said...

I've used peanut butter in sauces a lot in Thai dishes. This was the first time I've used almond butter and I have to say this is one of my new favorite meals! It was delicious. Thank you for another great grain free meal!