Inspired by our basic method for chicken stir-fry, this is my go-to solution for turning a pack of chicken breasts into a wholesome weeknight dinner that's packed with flavor. Thin strips of chicken get a sharp sear from the wok before shacking up with a mess of tender veggies and a savory sauce accented by honey and garlic.
Chicken Stir-Fry in Under 30 Minutes
Stir-fries, by nature, are quick-cooking meals. While some recipes are best approached with a work-as-you-go mindset, stir-fry is not one of them. Before firing up the stove, be sure to stir together the sauce, prep the meat and all the veggies, and have everything you need nearby and ready to go. Once you start cooking, this meal will come together fast. In fact, you will spend more time prepping than you do at the stove — the whole thing requires no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
The Chicken Dinner Playbook
Want an easier way to approach your weeknight chicken dinner? Start by learning a few basic cooking techniques and then add a little inspiration (that's where we come in) — the possibilities are practically endless. This week we're sharing five recipes that build on basic techniques for quick and easy chicken dinners any night of the week.
Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry
For the sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the stir-fry and serving:
3 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
1 medium broccoli crown, cut into small florets
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 8 ounces total), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
Cooked rice or noodles, for serving
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
Make the sauce: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is dissolved; set aside.
Make the stir-fry: Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water vaporizes immediately on contact. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, and then add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly with a metal spatula, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Push the garlic to the side of the pan.
Add about 1/2 of the chicken in a single layer and season with salt. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, letting it sear. Stir-fry the chicken until lightly browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, add the broccoli, and season with salt. Stir-fry until it begins to soften and brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.
Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil around the pan, add the peppers and zucchini, and season with salt. Stir-fry until browned and softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the reserved chicken and broccoli and any accumulated juices back to the pan and stir to combine. Stir the sauce one more time, pour into the pan, and stir-fry until the sauce is thickened and coats the chicken and vegetables, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles and top with the the scallions.
- Make ahead: The sauce can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while preparing the stir-fry, and stir to dissolve the cornstarch again before adding to the pan.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 4 days.