Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is a staple of our meals. I really like this recipe because it is flexible, easy, fast, & yummy! You can easily cook the chicken ahead by grilling it, sauteing it, or even boiling it. I cut the sauce portion in 1/2 & it feeds 2 1/2 people.....me, Peter, & our girls.

I almost always make it with broccoli, but I have also added zucchini & it was delicious. On this particular occasion, I added cashews, & sesame seeds.

Ingredients:
  • Cooked chicken cut into small pieces
  • Cooked vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, pea pods, whatever strikes your fancy)
  • Rice (I've used brown rice too.....but Peter prefers white rice)
  • Optional - cashews, sesame seeds, bean sprouts (for crunch)

Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp white wine or dry sherry
Directions:
  • Cook chicken (however much you think your family will eat)
  • Cook vegetable & set aside on paper towel.
  • Cook rice, set aside
  • Mix sauce ingredients, set aside
  • Add chicken to wok (or saute pan) with a little oil
  • Once chicken is warmed, then add sauce
  • Stir sauce in hot pan until it just starts to thicken
  • Add vegetables & stir until sauce is thicker veggies are warmed
  • Pour over hot rice & serve immediately

And now the step-by-step part.....

My beginning ingredients:
I've already started boiling the broccoli. I used two medium sized heads for our family....put in a pot with cold water. With the lid....I think it was about 12 minutes (on my stove with my pans) from start to finish.


I always strain it, run cold water over to stop the cooking & set aside on paper towel to absorb extra water. If you don't do this, then too much water gets in the sauce & it won't thicken. I have also cooked the broccoli earlier in the day & kept in the fridge until I needed it.


The Basic Ingredients
I used chicken I grilled from earlier in the week. Click HERE to see the grilled chicken recipe. You could also saute it or boil it. Click HERE to see boiled chicken from my enchilada recipe. And yes, I use instant rice because it's so much easier. If you want to be overzealous & spend 30 minutes cooking brown rice.....go for it. I've done that too....it's usually not worth it.


The Sauce: Ingredients
* I like cayenne pepper to give ours a slight kick....this is optional *


Pretty simple, just measure, mix, & set aside


The Final Steps
Heat oil in large wok (or skillet). I used olive oil, but sometimes I use peanut oil...which give it a nice flavor.


Heat chicken....stir constantly to get even heating


Then I added cashews & sesame seeds. I did 1 Tbsp of cashews for each adult & a few shakes of sesame seeds.


Add sauce, stir constantly. Once the sauce just begins to thicken....add broccoli. Once the sauce hits a certain temperature & begins to thicken....it goes from very runny to a thicker sauce very quickly.


Add broccoli & stir till broccoli is warm. Adding the broccoli always adds very small amounts of water....which slows down the sauce thickening step....which allows time for it to heat up in the pan.


Stir until sauce is thickens


Pour over rice & enjoy!


* Fresh lime juice is an excellent addition, especially if you added red pepper or hot sauce *

1 comment:

baorao said...

That looks really good. We're going to have to make this very soon. If I didn't have soccer this weekend we'd be making it tonight.

Somehow whenever we go stir-fry we always screw up the sauce, or the sauce always turns out way thinner than we were hoping for. This recipe appears to solve that problem.

 

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