If you’re a regular visitor to the blog, you’d know that I love broccoli. Love, love, love it. But what I don’t love is the mess I end up with after cutting up broccoli into florets. You know, where the tiny little green buds of broccoli just break up and fly everywhere. My counter looks like a giant green monster attacked it after I’ve been prepping broccoli. And I have the same problem with cauliflower too. Usually, this mess is the main thing that puts me off cooking broccoli and cauliflower despite how much I enjoy eating these two vegetables.
After cleaning up yet another broccoli prep mess, I found myself thinking, there surely has got to be a better way of doing this. So that night, I logged onto my laptop and Googled ‘Chopping broccoli and cauliflower without making a mess.’ Sure enough – the first site I came across was this video on Food52 which shows you how to floret broccoli and cauliflower the un-messy way. Basically, you have to turn your cauliflower or broccoli head upside down and start cutting from the stalk side, not the bud side. It’s also a great way to break off the florets into naturally even-sized pieces. So easy!
I had another punnet of exotic mushrooms in my fridge which I needed to use so I threw those in with the broccoli as well. I’ve never used this mushrooms in a stir-fry before, only in my dumpling noodle soups, so I was pleasantly surprised with how well they went with the dish. The enoki mushrooms, in particular, added a noodle-like texture that I really enjoyed.
(And, yes, I just don’t bother ironing my table mats anymore. One day, I swear, I will get to it!)
Paprika Chili Chicken with Broccoli and Exotic Mushrooms
- Four chicken thighs, washed and patted dry
- Two medium heads of broccoli, washed and floreted
- One punnet of mixed exotic mushrooms (I used a combination of shiitake, enoki, king oyster and buna-shimeji mushrooms)
- Dried chili flakes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
Mix the soy sauce, paprika and dried chill flakes in a bowl (I just liberally seasoned the paprika and chilli flakes without measuring – go by your intuition!). Add chicken thighs to the marinade and coat evenly. Cover with Glad Wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for half an hour.
Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (392 Fahrenheit). Cover a tray with baking foil and place chicken thighs in tray. Pour the remaining marinade over the meat and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, flipping chicken over at the 10-minute mark. As thighs cook pretty quickly, your chicken should be ready in 20 minutes – otherwise, continue to cook in the oven, checking every five minutes or so to see if it cooked through.
While your chicken is cooking, heat a little oil in a pan. Add your broccoli and stir-fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Wash the exotic mushrooms and dice any of the larger mushrooms into smaller, suitable cooking pieces (mushrooms tend to shrink quickly while cooking so I usually just slice up the really big ‘shrooms into medium-sized pieces and leave the rest alone). Add the mushrooms to the broccoli and continue to stir-fry for another minute. Add a dash of oyster sauce (or two or three!) to the pan and mix well. Turn the heat down to low and continue to sauté until broccoli and mushrooms are tender.
Plate up your chicken and vegetable mix. Serve and enjoy!