Kung Pao Chicken
Posted by Denise on August 12, 2011
Pao Chicken is easy, fast and delicious.
Many Asian stir fry recipes have an
ingredient list a mile long and each item on the list has to be sliced, diced and otherwise prepared. It’s enough
to wear me out just reading about all the prep work! Some recipes are worth the effort, but I save those meals for
special occasions. The nice thing about most stir fry dishes is that a lot of the work can be done beforehand and
the actual stir fry is done quickly.
The good news is that our Kung Pao Chicken
does not take lots of preparation to fix. The entire meal can be on the table in less than an hour. It’s easy
enough to fix on a week night. And we love the taste, so this is one of our favorite go-to chicken
Even though the ingredient list in this
recipe is a little longer than what I would normally do on a work night, there is very little prep time needed and
what does need to be done can be accomplished quickly.
I use a wok for stir frying, but if you
don’t have a wok you can use a skillet. Just be sure to watch it closely and stir it more frequently to avid
burning the ingredients.
I have a confession to make. Ready? Ok, I
was one of those naïve people who went to the State Fair, fell for a sales pitch, and bought my wok and a bunch of
accessories. You know, the bamboo steam baskets, bamboo-handled strainer, wire warming rack, the whole works. I
mean this wok was outfitted to the max. J At that time I was fresh out of college and
working for a company that had a booth at the fair. I was assigned to work the booth. As I was leaving to go home
one evening I decided to look around at the other booths. The next thing I know, I’ve written a check for more than
I’d spend on groceries for a week and was happily carting a big box under one arm and a bag under the other the
half mile out to my car. I had a nagging feeling at the time that I probably paid too much for my purchase, but
since I’ve used it for over 25 years I think I did fine!
Back to the recipe. The good news is that
there is not much to prep. You will need to wash and slice the green onion, mince the garlic and peeled ginger,
then slice the chicken. That’s it. Easy, huh?
I either make the rice right before I stir
fry and keep it warm, or I ask Glenn to make it while I do the rest. Once I start cooking the Kung Pao Chicken, it
comes together so fast that I don’t have time to make the rice. And I want to serve it immediately while the
chicken is hot and the vegetables don’t have time to get soggy.
The dried red chili peppers can be
purchased in many grocery stores, normally near the Asian ingredients. If you cannot find them, you can use crushed
red pepper flakes. Just add them after you thicken the sauce.
We think you will enjoy our Kung Pao
Kung Pao Chicken
Makes 4-6 servings
Note: Make sure you don’t use re-use anything
that the raw chicken touches before it is washed. The raw chicken may contaminate other
ingredients. Always wash your hands, the knife, cutting board, and anything else raw chicken
touches in hot sudsy water before using it again. If you cut the onion, garlic, and ginger first,
then the chicken, you will be fine.
Cups rice, cooked according to package directions
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or
thighs, cut into
2 Tablespoons peanut
Dried red chili
Green onions, white and firm
green parts cut into ½ to ¾ “ lengths
2 teaspoons corn
4 Tablespoons soy
2 Tablespoons rice
Tablespoons cold water
3 Tablespoons sesame
1 Clove garlic,
1 teaspoon minced
pared fresh ginger root
1 Cup roasted peanuts,
more for garnish
portion of onions sliced into thin strips for garnish (optional)
Prepare rice according to package instructions.
2. Cut the green onions and
set aside. Chop the garlic and mince the fresh ginger. Cut the chicken into pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the corn starch with the cold water
until blended. Mix in the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Set aside until
4. Put the peanut oil in
the wok. Turn heat to medium high until hot, about 30 seconds, and add the red peppers. Let the
peppers turn from bright red to a dark red color, making sure the peppers don’t burn. This flavors
the oil as well as toasts the peppers.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry quickly, for about 10
seconds. Increase the heat to high. Immediately add about ¼ of the chicken pieces and cook
for about 30 seconds, then add another ¼ of the chicken pieces, repeating the process until
all of the chicken is in the wok. Cook for about 1 minute longer.
Add cornstarch mixture to wok. Cook until thickened and
chicken is cooked through, about 1 more minute. If the sauce is too thick, add more water and
stir in. Add green onion to chicken and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add peanuts and stir
into chicken mixture. Serve immediately over rice.