Kung Pao Chicken
Named after a court official or "Kung Pao," Kung Pao Chicken is a spicy Szechuan dish made with diced chicken, peanuts and chili peppers. This recipe calls for deep-frying; for a lighter version, try Kung Pao Chicken Stir-fry.
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black or red rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a few drops sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 6 to 8 small dried red chili peppers, or as desired
- 2 garlic cloves,
- 1/2 cup skinless, unsalted peanuts
- 3 - 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix in the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, water and cornstarch. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, whisking in the cornstarch last.
Remove the seeds from the chile peppers and chop. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Heat the oil for deep-frying to between 360 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully slide the chicken into the wok, and deep-fry for about 1 minute, until the cubes separate and turn white. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok.
Add the chilies peppers and stir-fry until the skins starts to darken and blister. Add the garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the deep-fried chicken back into the pan. Stir-fry briefly, then push up to the sides of the wok and add add the sauce in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken. Stir in the peanuts. Mix everything together and serve hot.
Yield: 4-6 Servings