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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken
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Yield: Makes 4 servings.

This dish is named for Ding Bazohen, the governor of Sichuan, who ruled during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was said that the governor's favorite dish was spiced chicken with peanuts; in time, this peanut dish was named for him through his official title--Gong Bao. Give this recipe a try and see if you can feel the pao.

Ingredients:

  • 10 dried red chili peppers
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 2 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Instructions:

Wearing rubber gloves, cut chili peppers in half and discard as many seeds as possible. Set aside. Combine 1-1⁄2 teaspoons cornstarch, salt, water, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and rice wine in a small bowl. Add chicken pieces. Set aside. Combine sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch, Chinese vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chili peppers and stir-fry briefly (do not burn); add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Add chicken broth mixture to chicken; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with rice.
Updated Thursday, August 25th, 2005
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