Every week at Weight Watchers meetings, members receive a small magazine that outlines that week’s topic. A recipe is also included — last week’s was Garlicky Chicken and Broccoli. It immediately caught my attention because of the authentic Chinese cooking method for the chicken.
The chicken is “velveted,” which means that it is briefly marinated in a combination of cornstarch and liquid and then poached in boiling water before it is stir fried with the remaining ingredients.
The result is a very tender, “velvety” texture. The accompanying sauce, which includes the sweetness of brown sugar and the spiciness of chili garlic sauce, is also about as good as anything I’ve had at a Chinese restaurant.
This is one great dish, and another surprising find from, of all places, Weight Watchers! The recipe doesn’t mention serving it with rice but that’s how we ate it. I usually prepare brown rice but this week I had to cook white rice for poor Lulu the poodle, whose tummy has been majorly upset since she scarfed a pound of raw chicken from the kitchen counter.
Although I’d like to think that she learned her lesson from this brazen theft, I’m afraid that she’d do it all over again if given the chance. It is not Lulu who needs to be trained — it is Anne.
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. rice wine (you can also use rice vinegar, sherry or white wine)
3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch, divided
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
4 tsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce*
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
5 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 medium scallions, thinly sliced
In a glass dish, whisk together egg white, rice wine, 3 Tbsp. cornstarch and salt. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, chili sauce and remaining 2 tsp. cornstarch. Set aside.
When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil; drain chicken to remove excess marinade (you can do this with a slotted spoon) and add to pot. Poach chicken until it is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broccoli and toss to coat. Pour broth over broccoli and increase heat to medium-high. Cover skillet and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and reserved sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes. Garnish with scallions and serve.
Serves 6 (about one cup per serving)
WWPP Per serving: 4