Monday, March 16, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

I have a long history with this dish and mastering it was just something that needed to be done. Not that I have but I think that I am getting pretty damn close.
I owe the love of this dish to my father as it was definately one of his favourite meals although I never actually remember him making it. He would buy himself this dish as his treat when we went past the chinese take away in the foodcourt at shopping. And if he didn't go shopping we had to bring it home for him. To not come home with it was somewhat of a sin!
Originating in the Sichuan Province of central-western China it has a very unique flavour. According to history the dish is named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886) who was a Qing Dynasty official. Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province. His title was Gong Bao or palatial guardian and therefore the name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title.
Kung Pao Chicken
Serves: 4
500 grams boneless chicken breasts, skin and fat removed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon black or red rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornflour
6 to 8 small dried red chillies, or as desired
2 garlic cloves
2 spring onions, sliced on diagonal
1/2 cup skinless, unsalted peanuts
1 cup oil for deep-frying and stir-frying
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix in the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, water and cornflour. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, whisking in the cornflour last.
Remove the seeds from the chillies and chop. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Heat the oil in a wok add half of the chicken cooking for about 1 minute, until the cubes separate and turn white. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remainder of the chicken. Drain nearly all of the oil from wok leaving approximately 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add the chillies and stir-fry until the skins starts to darken and blister. Add the garlic and spring onion. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the chicken back into the pan and toss until chicken is heated through, then push up to the sides of the wok and add add the sauce in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken. Stir in the peanuts. Stir fry for a further 1 to 2 minutes or until everything is coated and hot.
Serve immediately.


Sara said...

This looks delicious. I love to order kung pao chicken in restaurants, but I've never made it at home before. I will definitely give it a try!

Donna-FFW said...

MMM.. soo good. It looks like it came right out of a restaurant. I am adding this to my huge list of things to try. I adore this dish and order it quite frequently when we dine out!

sangeeta said...

the dish is a must try .........first time here through foodieblogroll,
i am also trying to loose weight n writing about the recipe i make....try to take a look.