Kung Pao

9 Oct

George likes his chicken spicy, and so do we.

With an easy velveting technique, this kung pao is a cinch to make.

You can easily enhance the sauce by adding mushroom soy or black vinegar.

The key here is to cut the chicken into same size pieces, and to chow the peanuts so they are fragrant.

This is a very adaptable recipe. Once in a rush, we forgot the velveting part and fried the dredged chicken pieces, removed them only to return them to the pan to finish cooking in the sauce after chowing the vegetables, aromatics and peanuts.

from Helen Chen
1 pound cubed chicken breast (about 2 cups’s worth, tho we recently used about nine chicken thighs and liked them better, even if it stretched the sauce.)
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce or regular
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons or more dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons dark toasted sesame oil
2 to 4 dried red chilis, fresh chilis or red pepper flakes to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns
3 cloves garlic
1 diced red bell pepper
up to a cup of jullienned carrots
1 green onion cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths, plus thinly sliced green part to top
2 coins of fresh ginger
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Add chicken to a bowl of 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cornstarch and mix well. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce together along with the sherry, sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Set aside.

Pour the cooking oil into a cold wok or stir-fry pan and add chilies. Heat pan over medium-high heat and stir the pepper until they turn dark brown. Add the peppercorn, garlic, green onion, and ginger root and stir for a few moments. Add chicken and stir quickly for about one minute. Add sauce, peanuts and the thinly sliced scallions.
Turn heat up to high and stir for about 45 seconds until well mixed.
Remove the chilies and ginger. Serve hot.


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