While flavor is king, texture is queen. The key to this dish is to have fully cooked chicken AND lightly crisp broccoli florets in the rice bowl.
There is a trick to ensure that the broccoli stays lightly crisp despite the high cooking temperature required when stir frying the chicken. You cook the broccoli florets separately and toss them into the stir fry off the heat.
To be more specific, the florets are cooked in boiling water for a short time then dumped into a bowl of iced water. The heat and steam from the innermost portions of the florets dissipate and any cooking in residual heat stops immediately.
Broccoli stems are edible and nutritious
Facebook feeds of friends are filled these days with snapshots of price tags of vegetables in the market. Per kilo, yard-long beans cost more than pork belly. Broccoli is more expensive than sirloin beef.
(Yes, just the florets for this dish. While broccoli stems are edible, you will have to reserve them for another dish.)
The chicken is cooked, the sauce is poured in and, with the heat off, the broccoli florets are tossed in. They absorb the heat from the pan without allowing them to cook farther. The sauce coats them beautifully to make sure that they are sufficiently flavored.
Chicken broccoli rice bowl
- 1 head broccoli
- 4 large chicken thigh fillets - skin on
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sake
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- enoki mushrooms - (optional)
- cooked rice - to serve
- Cut the broccoli into florets; reserve the stem for future use.
- Boil about six cups of water in a pot. Stir in a teaspoon of salt.
- Dump the broccoli florets into the boiling water. Allow to cook over high heat, with occasional stirring, for a minute or two, depending on how crisp of soft you prefer your broccoli.
- Strain the broccoli florets then put in a bowl of iced water. Leave to cool the strain again. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken thigh fillets into bite-size pieces.
- Heat a frying pan.
- Spread the chicken pieces in the pan, skin side down, and cook until the skins are lightly browned and a little fat has been rendered. Flip the chicken pieces over and lightly brown the opposite side.
- Pour in the soy sauce, sake and mirin.
- Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost dry.
- If using enoki, toss them in until limp and glistening with the sauce.
- Add the oyster sauce to the chicken (and enoki) and toss to distribute evenly.
- Off the heat, toss in the broccoli florets.
- Ladle rice into four bowls and top with the chicken and broccoli.