Monday, January 28, 2013

Asian Eating Again- Kung Pao Chicken

Glorious Veggies
For some reason I have a love affair with Asian food-- especially mastering my favorite dishes.  Maybe it is  because I've been cooking noodles, and soups, and casseroles for so many years that I love the new adventure and the challenge.  Maybe it is because I am a tightwad and I can't stand spending $10 per plate at a restaurant when my kids won't even eat it.  Maybe it is because I hate all the greasiness of affordable cheap Asian cuisine.  Maybe I'm a health nut who loves hiding 4+ cups of veggies in a delicious sauce.  Maybe I'm just difficult to please. 
It is probably a little of each.

Here is my healthier incarnation of Wolfgang Puck's Kung Pao ChickenHow is my recipe different?  I added more veggies, baked the chicken, skipped the deep frying of the peanuts and increased the proportions of the sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken
My Secret Weapon: Red Pepper Packets
If you don't have rice vinegar you can substitute 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water.  My kids hate heat in their food, so I skip the dried red pepper during cooking and bring red pepper flakes to the table for heat lovers.

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon corn starch
2-3 bonelees skinless breast halves

1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup hosin sauce 
4 tablespoons chicken stock
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Stir Frying Veggies:
1 Tablespoon oil
4 dried red chiles (remove the stem and cut in half)
1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled & grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
4+ cups chopped vegetables, including but not limited to celery, red, orange & green bell peppers, broccoli...)

1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained    
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Toss chicken together with the marinade in a quart zip bag.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop vegetables, gather sauce ingredients and preheat the oven to 450.

Drain the marinade from the chicken. Bake the chicken for 10 minutes at 450.

While the chicken is baking, begin to stir fry the vegetables, chiles, garlic and ginger root until the garlic is aromatic and the vegetables are a bright color.   Stir in the sauce ingredients, the water chestnuts and the baked chickenLower the heat to low and cook until the sauce is shiny and thick.  Stir in the peanuts.

Serve over rice.
Kung Pao Chicken-- Erica Style

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious. Think I'll make it for dinner!