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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

My husband's absolute favorite thing to order for Chinese food is kung pao chicken. Over the years, I have become a convert and now love it too! I wanted to be able to make it at home, since we try not to eat out a lot (and I'd say we are quite successful.. maybe 3 or 4 times a year). I came across this recipe aaaages ago... so long, in fact, that I didn't write down the source! Can you imagine such horror?! ;-) Luckily, a little googling and I was able to locate the original recipe. I added some vegetables we like and doubled the sauce since, well, it's light on sauce and I wanted to make sure everything was good and covered. I also nixed the red chilis because yeah, I like having feeling in my tongue! We found that just adding the crushed red pepper flakes provided the little kick of heat it needed. Overall, we LOVE this recipe and I can't wait to make it again!

Kung Pao Chicken
Adapted from about.com
Serves 2-3

For the marinade:
~2 teaspoons soy sauce
~2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
~1 teaspoon sesame oil
~1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the sauce:
~4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
~2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
~1.5 teaspoons sugar

~2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
~2 carrots
~1 rib celery
~1 small can sliced water chestnuts
~2 cloves garlic
~1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
~2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
~1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
~6 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
~1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
~a few drops sesame oil, optional


Add chicken and marinade ingredients to a bowl or ziplock bag, adding the cornstarch last, and marinate for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice carrots and celery. Chop the green onions into 1/2 inch pieces, and grate the garlic and ginger. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a large saucepan or wok over medium high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and allow to get hot. Add carrots, celery and water chestnuts and toss occasionally until cooked. Remove vegetables from pan.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan and allow to get hot. Add marinated chicken and cook until nearly done. Remove chicken from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan and allow to get hot. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and ginger and cook for a few seconds. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan, toss to coat in the sauce. Stir in the peanuts and green onion, heat through. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil, if using. Serve with rice.


Anonymous said...

Mmm, this looks so tasty. I LOVE kung pao.

Jenn said...

Oh, I love chinese food. This looks so good.

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Looks delicious and great pic!

That Girl said...

This is my mom's favorite dish!

Colleen said...

I have almost all of these ingredients in my pantry - can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

I'll have to try this recipe. Chinese food is one of those things I would LOVE to be able to cook at home so we don't have to go out if we're in the mood for it. There aren't a lot of great Chinese food places around here anyway. Thanks for posting!

ashley said...

looks so good!