Green Stir Fry with Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus & Chicken

This wonderful guest post comes from Ann at the Fountain Avenue Kitchen. You know how there are people whose blogs and recipes make you want to sit down to a meal with them? That's how I feel about Ann. Comfort and warmth radiate from her posts. And I am totally on board with her approach to food: cook like your grandmother (or great-grandmother, depending on how old you are.) As Ann writes on her blog, her grandma's kitchen "was where I first pulled up a stool and watched the magic of turning basic, fresh ingredients into culinary wonders.  The cooking style wasn’t fussy, but it was wholesome, delicious and affordable." 

This echoes a great item in Michael Pollan's Food Rules: don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. (It's a good rule of thumb when you're grabbing for that hot pink Go-Gurt in the supermarket!) 

So, enjoy this simple and delicious real-food recipe!

A trip to the farmers market and a beautiful, green bunch of broccoli rabe inspired this stir-fry.  Broccoli rabe (a.k.a. broccoli raab or rapini) is one of the more bitter vegetables, but I love it.  If it's not your cup of tea or it isn't available, simply substitute a combination of broccoli and kale, or any other green veggies of your liking.

This stir-fry has become a favorite recipe in our family, partly because it tastes fabulous and also because it is both healthy and versatile.  Another big factor for me is that it is an easy, one-dish meal.  The veggies and sauce can be prepped in advance and—unlike many homemade stir-fry sauces—this one has minimal ingredients. 
My favorite tip when using chicken in a stir-fry is to ask the person at the meat counter to cut it into stir-fry-size pieces.  Many grocery stores and markets will gladly do this.  It's a great time saver and eliminates one messy step.  I keep a package of this bite-size chicken in my freezer to use with whatever vegetables I have on hand.  Even half an onion and a bag of frozen veggies can make a good dinner in a hurry!
Although I used chicken thighs here, breast meat is a great option, too. One benefit of the chicken thighs is that you can cook them longer than breast meat without drying them out.  I love when you get those crusty bits on the bottom of the skillet that can be mixed into the sauce with a quick deglazing of the pan.  If you prefer a vegetarian option, simply increase the veggies or add cannellini beans or tofu and make this a vegetarian meal.
The simple sauce really pulls this dish together nicely.  Sriracha is a Thai-style hot sauce, available in the Asian section of larger grocery stores.  I keep the spice to a minimum; feel free to add another teaspoon if you like to amp it up!
serves about 4
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1 1/4- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1/4-1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sesame seeds or chopped peanuts or cashews, optional for garnish

Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut into 1-2-inch pieces. Remove any thick stems from the broccoli rabe, and then chop the remaining stems and florets and place with asparagus.  Chop the leaves from the broccoli rabe and reserve in a different pile.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha.  Set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil and sauté the chicken over medium-high heat until it is well browned and beginning to caramelize.  Remove to plate. 

Deglaze the skillet with the wine or stock, scraping up all those little crusty bits on the bottom of the pan.  There is serious flavor here!   
Mmm...tasty, crusty bits! So much flavor!
Add asparagus and broccoli stems and florets to the skillet; sauté until crisp tender, stirring frequently and adding another tablespoon or two of oil if needed.  Add the chopped leafy parts of the broccoli rabe and sauté until the leaves wilt but are still bright green.  I like to use a spatula and flip the bottom layer to the top a number of times so that the leaves get incorporated into the rest of the veggies and wilt evenly.

Add the chicken back to pan and pour the sauce all over.  Mix thoroughly and cook another minute or two or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

If desired, garnish with sesame seeds or peanuts and add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Thanks FBS for sharing this great post by Ann!  I love a healthy stir-fry and this looks fantastic!

  2. fullbellysistersMay 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Doesn't it, though?!


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