This basil and black pepper chicken & broccoli is my kind of weeknight meal. It comes together in one skillet, uses a handful of fresh ingredients & lets the pantry bring the back up to maximize those flavors.
I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs because the darker meat is more forgiving and a little more juicy, but feel free to swap in chicken breast if you like.
When it comes to the veggies, chicken & broccoli is a classic and I almost always have a head or two of broccoli and a stray bell pepper or couple of carrots knocking around in my fridge because they keep a good while between grocery trips.
If you can buy the chicken ready sliced, or the carrots already shredded, this meal will be on your table just a little quicker, too. (Look near the bagged coleslaw mixes in the veggie aisle for the carrots!)
I don’t know about you, but since March I’ve been limiting grocery trips to once every two weeks.
So I’ve gotten used to staggering my produce throughout that time, eating the leafier and less long lasting produce first, with the hardier veggies like these making up meals towards the end of that two week period.
The real hero of this black pepper chicken & broccoli, though, is the sauce. It’s slightly sweet, balanced with the gentle heat of ginger and black pepper, salty-savory from the coconut aminos & fish sauce, then finally balanced with a kiss of vinegar & fresh lime juice.
The potato starch helps take the place of the traditional corn starch usually used in this kind of stir fry sauce so that it coats the chicken and vegetables lightly. You can leave it out and just reduce the sauce a little longer, or swap it out for something like arrowroot starch if you like.
Did you notice the super pretty purple Opal basil in my photos? We’ve been growing it this summer in little containers and despite its good looks, it tastes pretty similar to normal sweet basil. Thai basil would be lovely here, but any variety of fresh basil in this black pepper chicken & broccoli is delicious!Print
Basil Black Pepper Chicken & Broccoli
The perfect weeknight meal is here! This black pepper chicken & broccoli is a simple skillet dinner that comes together speedily with a hint of spice.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
- Category: dinner
- Method: stovetop, one pan
- Cuisine: gluten free, dairy free
- 1 lb / 454 g boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced thinly
- 2 tbs / 30 ml avocado oil, divided
- 2 tbsp / 20 g potato starch, this is my favorite
- 2 tsp / 8 g granulated garlic
- 1 tsp / 4 g black pepper, see notes
- 1 tsp / 2 g ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml chicken broth
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml coconut aminos, I like this one
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml honey
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml rice or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp / 5 ml fish sauce
- 2 crowns broccoli, chopped in bite size florets
- 1 medium bell pepper, de-seeded & sliced in strips
- 1 cup / 100 g shredded carrot
- juice of 1 lime, or to taste
- 1/2 cup torn or chopped fresh Thai or sweet basil
- handful crushed or chopped dry roasted peanuts, optional
COAT: Toss the sliced chicken thighs and 1 tablespoon / 30 milliliters of the avocado oil together in a bowl to coat. In a small bowl, mix together the potato starch, granulated garlic, black pepper, ginger and salt until combined. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the chicken and toss again to coat evenly.
WHISK: Measure the broth, coconut aminos, honey, vinegar and fish sauce into a small bowl & whisk to combine.
BROWN: Preheat a large skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon / 30 milliliters of the avocado oil over medium high heat. Slide in the sliced chicken and cook in a single layer, turning once or twice, until the chicken is golden in spots and just cooked through. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
SOFTEN: Add the broccoli, bell pepper & carrots to the skillet. Add a good splash or two of water and then cover the pan so that the vegetables steam and the broccoli turns bright green, about 2 – 3 minutes. Uncover the skillet and stir the vegetables, then reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken back to the skillet.
REDUCE: Pour the broth mixture over the chicken and stir through. Simmer the sauce until it reduces and thickens enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables, a minute or so. If you like a thinner sauce, feel free to add another splash or so of broth or water.
SERVE: Remove the skillet from the heat and squeeze over the fresh lime. Scatter with the fresh basil and peanuts if using, then serve immediately.
If you like, swap 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil for the avocado oil used to cook the chicken.
If you like more spice, you can increase the black pepper up to 2 teaspoons. For extra heat, feel free to add crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
If you like your broccoli on the softer side, blanch the broccoli before following the rest of the recipe. As written, the broccoli will be tender but still have some bite to it.
Black pepper is a Stage 1 AIP reintroduction. Bell peppers are a Stage 3 reintroduction. Potato starch is a Stage 4 AIP reintroduction, but you can swap it for arrowroot starch or omit if you like.