Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken (Throwback Thursday)

2011 photo
 Kung Pao Chicken is a favorite in Chinese restaurants. Why not make it at home so you can control the ingredients and the amount of oil. This is an easy recipe that takes a little prep and comes together in less than 30 minutes.

The key to Chinese cooking is high heat and speed so get all your ingredients ready before you start to cook. Before you know it, you will be sitting down to a meal better than regular Chinese take out for a fraction of the cost.



2lbs chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces
2  cups coarsely sliced celery
1 large onion coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onions (scallions) sliced divide green and white part
1/2 cup peanuts- unsalted
handful of whole dried chilies

Cornstarch Slurry:
Heaping Tbs cornstarch mixed with 2-3 Tbs water

Kung Pao Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce (or more to taste for salt)
2-3 Tbs  Shao Hsing Chinese Rice Wine or substitute dry sherry
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2-3 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs of brown sugar
1-2 tsp of sesame oil
1/4 cup of water
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2-3 cloves garlic grated

Step 1: Toss chicken with salt and black pepper and leave to marinate while you prep the vegetables  and sauce for the stir fry.

 Step 2:  Now it's time to start the Stir Frying.

Place your wok on high heat. Then put 1Tbs of oil (canola or peanut) into the wok and get it hot. You want it to get to the point the oil starts to ripple (almost smoke).

Add the chicken into the wok and cook until it's well browned.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside until later.

Next add 1/2 Tbs of oil to wok and then add the unsalted peanuts and whole dry chilies. Toss in oil until the peanuts become fragrant. The oil is hot so this should take less than a minute and you don't want to burn the peanuts. Take the peanuts and chilies out of the wok and place in a separate bowl until later.

Put 1 more tablespoon of oil into the wok and add your veggies. Toss in the oil until tender crisp (about 2-3 minutes).

Then add the cooked chicken, peanuts/chilies and sauce to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes.  Finally add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and cook stir well.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens. Garnish with tops of green onions/scallions Serve hot over rice.  Enjoy. 

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