I love the convenience of Chinese Take-Out! There’s nothing more exciting than when the doorbell rings and we get to take all those awesome little cardboard Chinese takeout containers out of the bag. The smell that fills the kitchen is just heavenly. I think one of the reason that Chinese food tastes so good is because I didn’t have to cook it! I don’t have to clean up the kitchen afterwards and I can eat it right out of those cute little cardboard boxes with chopsticks like they do on TV! Yeah, yeah, I’m so easily amused!
I looked for a long time to find a Chinese Chicken with Broccoli recipe that tasted like what I got delivered. It seems like there are always Beef with Broccoli recipes to be found, but never Chicken and Broccoli. It never occurred to me to just change the beef out for chicken (I can be a bit slow sometimes). I found a recipe a few years ago for “Chinese Brown Sauce” and filed it away. I was talking to the proprietor of a very nice Asian restaurant here in town and learned that there are two main sauces used by a typical American Chinese Take-out restaurant: a brown sauce and a white sauce. So I dug through my recipe stash, found the recipe for Chinese Brown sauce and this recipe was created! It tastes just as good as the take-out, but doesn’t come in those neat Chinese take-out containers!
This is actually an update to my original post for Chicken and Broccoli I published here in 2015. This recipe takes advantage of the instant pot for sauteing the vegetables and searing the chicken — you can even use it to steam the rice if you want. I have a rice steamer and I prefer using that as it makes the best rice ever! So while I’m preparing the chicken with broccoli in my instant pot, my steamer takes care of the rice for me. I find that I have less clean-up when I use the instant pot as everything is contained in that deep pot instead of in a frying pan where I use to slop everything out and make a mess on my cook stove. I also took some better photos, so wanted to use those too.
Trim the fat off of the chicken breast and thinly slice it at a 45 degree angle so you have larger slices. Sometimes it’s easier to slice if the meat is slightly frozen. If desired, you can coat the chicken slices in corn starch. I’ve also used cooked chicken I have on hand in this recipe and, while it wasn’t the classic thin slices I get from the take-out restaurant, I can’t tell a different in taste — only presentation and maybe texture.
Cut an onion in half and then thinly slice it. Cut carrots in half length-wise and then into slices at a 30 degree angle for that really cool Chinese take-out look. And as a side note, cutting the carrots at a 30 degree angle allows the carrot to cook faster so you can add them at the last minute so they are still crunchy but not raw! Cool, right? If you use frozen broccoli, defrost it and cut off the ends and cut the larger crowns into bite size pieces.
Turn instant pot to saute and add oil. When instant pot shows HOT, add carrots & onions and saute until onions are translucent then add coated or uncoated chicken slices and saute until chicken is no longer pink. If using cooked chicken, add it now.
Leave the Instant Pot on saute and add water chestnuts, mushrooms, chili flakes, garlic powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce and 2-1/2 cups chicken broth.
Stir to mix and the mixture will come close to or at a boil. Mix remaining 1/2 cup of (cold) broth with cornstarch to make a slurry and add to instant pot once mixture is at a boil and stir until it thickens.
Add broccoli & peas to mixture. Stir to coat and heat through.
Once everything is finished, ladle the chicken with broccoli mixture onto your steamed rice and enjoy!
Better Than Take-out Instant Pot Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 boneless chicken breast or cooked chicken meat
- 1 T. corn starch for coating opt.
- 1/2 sweet onion thin strips
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 oz. chopped water chestnuts optional
- 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms or 5-6 fresh mushrooms sliced, optional
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups chicken broth divided
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sweet/chili sauce
- 16 oz frozen broccoli florets
- 1 carrot sliced thin
- 1/2 cup frozen peas optional
- Cooked rice
- Thin slice chicken breasts, onion and carrot.
- Turn instant pot to saute and add oil. Saute onions and carrots until onions are translucent. Add chicken and saute until chicken is no longer pink.
- Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, chili flakes, garlic powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce and 2-1/2 cups chicken broth.
- Stir to mix. Bring mixture to a boil. Mix remaining cold broth with cornstarch as a slurry and add to boiling mixture. Stir constantly until thickened.
- Add frozen peas and broccoli to mixture. Stir to coat and heat through.
- Serve over rice.