Recipe: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with Hoisin Sauce and Wasabi Smashed Potatoes

I was prompted to “make something you and your dad will like” by my mother, who had a luncheon today and was uninterested in anything much for dinner. I really didn’t want to go out for groceries, having just gone out yesterday for a quick trip, so I took a look through the pantry for some inspiration. A tube of unopened wasabi paste on the shelf and a bag of red potatoes in the corner led me to tonight’s meal, an Asian-inspired dish  featuring fresh broccoli and tender chicken in a sweet-spicy hoisin sauce paired with wasabi smashed red potatoes. It’s got varying levels of spiciness all through it, with a little sweet and savory to pull it all together and it’s absolutely delicious. The best part, it’s a really easy meal to time, meaning it’s easy to make it so that everything finishes at the same time.

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin, 2-3 inch long slices (1-2 inch wide) slices
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • Sesame oil and peanut oil, enough to lightly coat the bottom of a large pan

For the chicken marinade
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sherry
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

For the potatoes

  • 1&1/2 lb. red potatoes, washed and quartered, skin on (I used about 3/4 of a bag of red potatoes because, well, that’s all I had)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
  • 4-5 tbsp. milk (heavy cream or half-and-half could be used too)
  • Wasabi paste, to taste (use more if you really want a kick in your potatoes, but don’t go overboard—this stuff is strong; I used about 3 small squirts of the stuff)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste

For the hoisin sauce (makes about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. creamy/smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce (go easy with it, because this can make the sauce really hot if you use too much)
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Directions
Mix together the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a medium bowl and let the chicken slices marinate in the mixture in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, whisk together all of the ingredients for the hoisin sauce and set aside. Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with water until the water reaches about 1 inch above the tops of the potatoes. Bring the pot of water to a boil, once boiling, cook them for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through (to test doneness, stick the tip of a pairing knife into a potato—if it pierces the potato easily and easily slides in and out, they’re done). Bring a smaller pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the broccoli florets until just barely cooked though, about 3 minutes. Drain and return to the pot, then add cold water and some ice to stop the cooking process. While the potatoes are cooking and the broccoli is cooling, heat a splash of peanut oil and sesame oil over high heat in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook over until lightly browned and no longer pink in the middle. Drain the broccoli and add it to the chicken; reduce to medium heat. Stir in the hoisin sauce and toss to combine. Let the whole mixture cook until heated through. Drain the potatoes, and while the chicken and broccoli mixture is cooking, smash the potatoes with a masher or a fork. Add butter, milk, wasabi paste, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the potatoes and mix to incorporate (don’t over mix or the potatoes will lose their fluffiness). Serve the finished chicken and broccoli mixture alongside or over top of the wasabi smashed potatoes. The excess hoisin sauce from the pan is great on top of the potatoes.

This dish is spicy, sweet, peanut-y—absolutely delicious! The peanut butter gives the hoisin sauce a rich flavor and velvety texture, and the hot sauce in the sauce and wasabi in the potatoes adds a splash of heat to the dish. Broccoli has this wonderful way of soaking up sauces into the flowery tops so each bite is packed with saucy goodness, so it’s perfect with the chicken, and the subtle wasabi and garlic flavors in the potatoes makes this fluffy side the perfect backdrop to the rest of the dish.

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