Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken

Last year I was on the lookout for great oriental food recipes, and found a few that my family and I really like, and cook often! Marsie sent this recipe to me and it has been a huge hit ever since and one of my most requested dinners! Here is my own slight variation:

Kung Pao (Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry)
makes about 6 servings (I always double it and sometimes triple it because it makes great leftovers and great lunches for my hubby and I always make extra to share with the in-laws!)
takes about 20 to 45 minutes to accomplish depending on your prep time

canola oil for wok or nonstick pan

1 pound raw boneless skinned chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
(Toss Chicken in cornstarch in a big bowl and set aside)

4 Tbsp white vinegar
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp. sugar
(Mix in a small bowl and set aside)

3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
(Mix in a small bowl and set aside)

1 cup zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
3/4-1 cup cashews

serve over calrose rice (sticky rice)

Start Rice cooking (I don't know what I ever did without my rice cooker! If you don't have one I highly recomend one! It is soooo handy and hassle free!!! I think mine cost around $20 and it cooks great rice!)
Heat oil in Wok or nonstick pan on medium-high heat (don't even try it in a pan that is not non stick- I speak from experience!!!!)
chop chicken into bite-sized pieces (if I plan ahead, I will do this when I come home from the grocery store with the chicken I got on sale and freeze it in a zip-lock bag labeled with "1 pound chopped chicken" until I need it, and this saves so much prep and clean up time!)
Toss chicken pieces in cornstarch
(slightly frozen chicken works great)
Stir fry chicken about 5-7 minutes until cooked tender
Remove chicken from pan (I like to put it in the same bowl I am going to serve in to save me from doing extra clean-up)
Heat oil in pan and add green onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger. Stir fry for 15 seconds!
Add vinegar mixture, cooked chicken, zucchini and cashews. Stir to coat chicken, cooking about 2 minutes. Serve over rice!

Warning!!! This is a HOT dish! If you don't think you or your kids can handle the HEAT, go with little or no red pepper flakes! My friend Ching made it for her family without the red pepper flakes and she said it was delicious!

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