Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kung Wow Chicken (Chef John's Version of Kung Pao Chicken)

This is a recipe I adopted from Chef John on his foodwish blog. It's a very savory and lovely dish for any occasion. The ingredients can all be chopped and refrigerated earlier if you plan on entertaining guests and want to make the dish quickly once your guests arrive. Enjoy!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut into 1-inch cubes (make sure they are all the same size so they cook evenly!)

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

Other ingredients:
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

Cook the white rice separately. (See recipe for how to cook white rice).
-Combine marinade ingredients above with cubed chicken. Let marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
-Combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.
-Combine .5 cup of water and dissolve the corn starch in it. The trick to making a thicker sauce is adding cornstarch - in about 30 seconds it will make your sauce thicker. Add more or less corn starch to thicken the sauce depending on your personal preference. Set this aside, you'll need it later.
-Chop all of your ingredients before you heat the pan. Once you turn the pan on everything moves very quickly so you will want everything ready to go. I recommend slicing the vegetables in triangles instead of squares or rectangles to make the dish more aesthetically pleasing.
-In a large wok or saute pan heat the peanut oil until it begins to smoke. You will want the pan to be REALLY hot before you throw the chicken on there - that way the chicken does not dry out. This is the trick to getting juicy and tender chicken. Note: The chicken will cook in less than 5 minutes, don't worry about it being under cooked.
-Once the peanut oil begins to smoke, add the chicken mixture. Keep it on HIGH heat the entire time. Saute for approximately 2 minutes. Add the vegetables. The vegetables will start to soften, when they reach the desired consistency add the sauce mixture (about five minutes). Stir. Add the cornstarch mixture you made and the chicken broth. Stir.
-Turn the heat off. Add the chopped green onions and the peanuts.

Serve over a bed of white rice. Bon Appetite!

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