Friday, April 2, 2010

Take in-Kung Pao Chicken

Panda Express is one of my husband's favorite 'fast food' places. I am usually not in the mood for it so if I suggest it or take it to him as a surprise he is always ecstatic. We always order Orange Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken. We rarely stray.
A few months ago I noticed that the Orange Sauce from Panda Express was available to purchase at Costco. Heaven on earth. Around the same time I saw a recipe in one of Martha Stewart's magazines for a light version of Kung Pao Chicken. I vowed to make it.

Of course, time passed and it was in the back of my mind but I just didn't get around to making it.
Then, that fateful night. I was going to make teriyaki chicken (my version) when I decided to make Kung Pao chicken. I looked up the recipe on the Internet and found Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken. I was so excited! I quickly jotted the recipe down and got started.
You begin by marinading the chicken in an egg and cornstarch mixture, which ends up making a coating on the chicken that is very similar to what you would find on meat at a Chinese take out restaurant. Then you combine your spices, and stir fry the meat with the spices. It is really simple and absolutely delicious!
Let me know if you like it.

Kung Pao Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup water
2-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
12 whole dry chili peppers (smaller than 3 inches; if longer, cut in half)
1/3 cup diced green onion, white part only, in 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground garlic
2 teaspoons crushed red chili pepper
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 ounces dry roasted peanuts
2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch slices and quartered

» Marinade:
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and water; set aside.
Heat wok on high heat 10 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat well. Remove chicken from marinade and add to wok. Stir-fry quickly, for about 60 seconds. Remove chicken and drain well.
Add the chili peppers to the pan and stir-fry until they darken. If the wok becomes too dry, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Add green onions, ginger, garlic and crushed red chili pepper and zucchini to pan. Stir-fry for about 5 seconds. Return chicken to wok; stir soy sauce/vinegar mixture and add; stir until sauce boils, then add cornstarch mix to thicken.
Add sesame oil and peanuts.
Stir and fold until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Serves 3.

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