Kung Pao Chicken

December 31, 2009

The spicy, peanutty Kung Pao Shrimp at PF Changs is my favorite and I’d been craving it lately, but with this bag of peppers from MySpiceSage in the pantry I thought I’d give it a try myself.  Googling brought a bunch of similar copycat recipes that I used for more inspiration.  The dish is really very simple and easy to recreate.  Because I didn’t have time to go to the fish market (and because I live in a house with several shrimp-haters) we made it with chicken instead.  A big platter of potstickers made the meal complete.First, the sauce:

  • Soy Sauce,  1/4 to 1/3 cup
  • Rice Vinegar, 2 teaspoons
  • Chili Paste, a teaspoon or more, depending on how spicy you want it
  • Sesame Oil, a tablespoon
  • Brown Sugar, a tablespoon
  • Cornstarch, a couple teaspoons
  • Chicken Broth, 1/3 cup

Then the rest of the ingredients:

  • Chicken, a couple of pounds is what I used here.
  • Green Onion, 3 or 4
  • Garlic, 3 or 4 cloves
  • Eggs, 2
  • Panko, 1/2 cup
  • Chili Peppers
  • Peanuts

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and chili paste in a small bowl.Sprinkle in a teaspoon or two of cornstarch.Stir in the chicken broth until it’s smooth and set it aside.Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks.Mince the garlic and slice the onions.In a large bowl, beat a couple of eggs to blend.Add the chicken and panko, just enough to lightly coat the chicken.Stir/toss until the chicken is evenly but lightly coated. Heat a bit of peanut oil over medium high heat.  I added a bit of sesame oil for extra flavor.  If you’ve got a wok, use it.  I don’t so I used my large All Clad skillet.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s well browned.  Remove it from the skillet and set it aside.Toss a handful of chilis into the pan.  Cook and stir for a few minutes, until the peppers start to darken.Add peanuts.Continue cooking for another couple of minutes.  Be careful not to burn the peanuts like I did!Dump the peanut and pepper mixture into the bowl with the chicken.Reduce the heat a bit and add the garlic and green onion to the skillet.  Cook for just a minute but be careful not to let the garlic brown.Return the chicken, peppers and peanuts to the skillet and add the sauce.Cook and stir for a few more minutes, until the chicken is done and everything is well blended.Dump it into a big bowl and serve…over a scoop of steamed rice.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steph December 31, 2009 at 6:59 pm

That looks good and easy to make. I really like the Kung Pao Chicken at PF Changs. I’ll have to try this!

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2 Kathryn January 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Love your blog, your pictures are beautiful!

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3 Nacht June 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Stumbled on this, and that looks simple and simply delicious. I would recommend making your own pan-asian dishes over going to PF Chang’s, because although their dishes may be tasty, I find them to be not-as-good imitations of other restuarant’s fare. Not bad-mouthing them, I used to work for them and all the chefs I knew were really good, and cool people to boot. Management was terrible on the other hand, but when isn’t it?

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4 Tim E. June 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

It looks like most of the panko abandoned the chicken in the pan. After a handful of attempts at coating chicken, I find it best to lay out meats on paper towels and then toss another on top and press, to dry it up a bit so stuff will adhere to the meat. The best coating method yet was drying the chicken, tossing it in some wondra, then in some beaten egg, then in some panko, and it all holds on for dear life.

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