Chock full of protein and good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and with a sweet-and-savory sauce you’ll want to dive right into, this Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry hits the spot. Done in 30 minutes and with easy-to-find ingredients, you’ll want to bookmark this dish for your meal planning ASAP.
Chicken is like this magical protein, isn’t it? Wave your wand (or wooden spoon) over it a few times and — viola! — dinner is served. At least, it seems that easy. Chicken is a staple in my house for sure (just take one peek in my freezer and you’ll see what I mean) and is my go-to on those days and nights when I need a quick, tasty meal to serve my family or an unexpected crowd.
The evening I made this Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry, I was, as usual, pressed for time. But, I did have enough forethought to get the chicken out to thaw in the morning so it was ready for me when I was ready to cook. (I’m not always that together, so for the small things, I remind myself to be grateful.) I did my little head-in-the-fridge dance to forage for other ingredients and the asparagus did a little jig too and asked to be eaten (and also, it needed to be used up) and so, the wonderful marriage of chicken and asparagus was thus played out in my trusty cast iron skillet via stir fry.
The making of the sauce required another, slightly longer dance, this time with my head in the pantry. I recommend keeping ingredients such as soy sauce, broth, sesame oil, corn starch, and brown sugar in your pantry at all times. You never know when a stir fry might break out and it sure beats getting halfway through a recipe only to discover you are missing a key ingredient.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS STIR FRY?
The first thing I did, after thawing my chicken, was to cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1.5-inch pieces for easy, even cooking. I set that aside and (this part is important) picked up a new, fresh, clean cutting board and knife and cut up the asparagus and set that aside in a different dish.
I took out my large cast iron skillet, but you can use any skillet, Dutch oven, or other larger pot or pan for the cooking part. On the stove, I drizzled my vessel with olive oil (but you can use any oil you prefer), and then added the chicken. I sauteed the chicken over medium-high heat until it was nice and browned on the outside. Then, I added the asparagus and cooked those both together for a few more minutes. The chicken at this point, was cooked and the asparagus was tender-crisp, so I turned the burner down while I whisked together the sauce.
In another bowl, I mixed together the sauces, broth, sugar, and spices, and poured it into the pan with the chicken and asparagus, turning the heat back to medium. I then made the corn starch and water slurry in another little bowl off to the side. I stirred the mixture around here and there until the sauce started to bubble, then added the slurry to the pan and stirred some more until the sauce started to get nice and thick.
At that point, all that was left was to pull the whole pan off the heat and add the garnishes of sesame seeds and green onions. I served this dish over rice but you can serve it plain or however you see fit.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN RAW CHICKEN OFF A CUTTING BOARD?
It’s soooo important to clean your cutting boards the right way, especially when you’ve used them for raw meat or shellfish. I often will either cut up my non-meat items first, then do the meat so as not to contaminate the vegetables, herbs, or spices with the raw chicken. Raw chicken can contain bacteria such as samonella that gives us food poisoning. Trust me you do not want food poisoning, nor do you want anyone in your family — especially any little ones — to come down with a case of that. It’s just awful.
For a sparkling clean cutting board, remember to:
- Start with a clean cutting board to begin with.
- Wash your cutting boards in hot, soapy water, rinse with hot water, and either air dry them or use paper towels to dry them.
- If you are cutting meat, add the step of spraying your boards down with bleach and water before washing to cut down on germs.
- You can always put your cutting boards in the dishwasher as well so long as they are not made of a laminate wood. Those will come apart.
- Pitch those boards that are worn down, have deep grooves that you can no longer clean, or cracks (like in the wooden ones) that could harbor those nasty germs.
Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (use a little less if you are using regular)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons corn starch + 3 tablespoons cold water whisked til dissolved
- chopped green onions and sesame seeds, for garnish
- Drizzle a large skillet with oil. Saute chicken 3-4 minutes until browned on the outside.
- Add asparagus to the pan and continue to saute 3-4 minutes until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is tender.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, chicken broth, hoisin, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Pour into pan.
- Once sauce begins to bubble, stir in corn starch and water mixture. Stir 1 minute until sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.