Well, I'm back in lovely San Francisco after our whirlwind trip to New York City, and even though I have a serious case of jetlag, I wanted to post this highly simplified and quite Americanized version of Kung Pao chicken. Of course, I only mention the jetlag to explain any increase in the frequency of typos (I know you'll have my back as usual).
If I ranked my top email requests, "an easy chicken stir-fry" is certainly in the top five. Of course, as I mention in the video, I don't even own a wok, so this isn't technically a "stir-fry," but it's close enough for the internet, so save your cards and letters.
This fairly simple dish is loosely based on the spicy, Chinese take-out classic, Kung Pao chicken. The origins of the name, "Kung Pao" are difficult to trace, especially when you are too tired and lazy to do any research, but I assume the recipe's history is fascinating.
I've pretty much stripped this down to the bare essentials, and as I mention in the video, it's a recipe that you'll really want to play around with. All the ingredients you see listed below are literally, "to taste."
Speaking of ingredient amounts, the quantities below are what I think the average viewer would find most enjoyable, so don't be alarmed if what you actually see me tossing in is a little more or less. I don't generally measure when cooking something like this, and I think the more often you make it, you'll find yourself becoming just as carefree.
If you like your Kung Pao-esque chicken dishes to be extra saucy, thick, and sticky (more like the traditional Chinese-American take-out style), you can double the sauce ingredients, and almost triple the cornstarch/water mixture. It's really up to you – I just prefer a little lighter version. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 4 Servings Kung Wow (Kung Pao) Chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. cut into 1-inch cubes
For the marinade:
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
white parts from 3-4 green onions, chopped
For the sauce mixture:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste (sambal), or more to taste
2 teaspoons ketchup
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons peanut vegetable oil for frying
2 cups cubed zucchini
1 cup cubed red bell pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoon water
1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped
handful roasted, salted peanut halves
4 cups cooked white rice