Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

I'm not a big fan of spicy Chinese food, but after a request for Kung Pao chicken from my husband, I was happy to oblige. Some fellow bloggers (reflected below) had some delicious renditions of Kung Pao chicken and they further inspired me to make it. I came across this recipe from Food & Wine which didn't seem like it involved too much heat, if not at all. The result was a wonderfully fragrant and mildly spicy dish. I served this with steamed brown rice and sugar snap peas.

Fellow bloggers who inspired me to make Kung Pao Chicken included: Katie, Stefany, Ashlee, Rachel, Lauren, and Melissa.

Kung Pao Chicken
recipe adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1 small mini sweet red pepper
1/2 small green pepper
1/2 can water chestnuts
sesame seeds for garnish

In a medium bowl, marinate and toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the 1 tablespoon cornstarch.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, remaining soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sherry, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the soy sauce mixture, the vegetables and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer.