This 15-Minute Orange-Chili Chicken Is Easy-Peasy
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Sometimes I feel like I’m about to get sick of chicken. It’s so easy, inexpensive, and healthful that it can turn into the default dinner protein, and the next thing I know, I’ve been eating chicken breasts every day for a week. It’s not the chicken’s fault, though — I just need a new recipe. Chicken is so versatile that it shouldn’t be possible to get burned out on it, especially when it takes strong flavors, like orange and chili sauce, so well.
Normally I consider 30 minutes to be the threshold for a recipe to count as a “quick weeknight dinner,” and this orange chili chicken and broccoli recipe comes together in just 15 minutes. That’s so fast, you could make it for lunch if you worked from home, and be back at the grindstone in about the time it would take to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
To make the sauce, start by heating freshly squeezed orange juice in a small saucepan with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and a good amount of bottled chili-garlic sauce. Bring that to a boil for about two minutes, and make sure to stir it so it doesn’t burn or splatter. Then add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce, and stir for about a minute. Once the sauce looks thick, take it off the heat and add some vinegar. Taste it for seasoning at that point, because you can always add extra sugar, vinegar, or chili sauce, depending on how sweet, spicy, or tangy you’d like your final dish to be.
Cook the chicken in a large skillet for about five minutes. Flip it occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly, and when it’s almost completely cooked through, push the chicken to one side of the pan, and add the broccoli to the other side. (The author points out that it will probably look like way too much broccoli for your pan, but not to worry because vegetables notoriously shrink down to a fraction of their original size when you cook them.) Then pour about half your orange-chili sauce over the chicken, and spoon a couple of tablespoons over the broccoli as well. Then cook it, covered, on medium-low for about five minutes, or until the broccoli is steamed to your desired degree of doneness. Then it’s ready to eat, by itself or with rice, and you can save the extra sauce for a quick lunch or dinner later in the week.
Get the recipe: Orange Chili Chicken and Broccoli from Averie Cooks