Here is my fail-proof, totally amazing, so easy you can cook it any night of the week Kung Pao chicken recipe! My three year old asks for more... what more can I say?! This is also wonderful for a potluck - it holds it's own heat for a LONG time. I have cooked the rice, placed it in a large casserole dish, topped it off with the chicken, placed the lid on it, traveled and served it about an hour later and it was STILL hot! Total perfection...
KUNG PAO CHICKEN
1 1/3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking sherry
1 tbsp and 2 tsp cornstarch, divided
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)
2 tsp sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup peanuts
1 bunch scallions, white bulbs sliced thin
4 scallions, green tops sliced thin
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Slice the white bulbs from all the scallions and then set the greens aside. Slice whites very thin, set aside. Take the green of 4 scallions and slice thin, set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sherry, and 1 tbsp cornstarch.
In a small bowl, combine sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, water, and the remaining 4 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sherry. Mix 2 tsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water to prevent clumps. Add cornstarch mixture to the small bowl. Stir well.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the peanuts and stir-fry until light brown, about 1 minute. Do not over cook, burned peanuts stink and don't taste very good!! Remove them from the pan, make sure you place them in a heat safe bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, around 45 seconds. Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done. Add the soy-sauce mixture, bring it to a slow boil then reduce the heat to low, cook about 3 more minutes. Add the peanuts and scallion tops* and mix thoroughly.
Did you notice the * next to "scallion tops"??? Yeah, remember my three year old eats NOTHING green?? I make it this way if it's only Kyle and I eating it, but if Reagan is eating with us, I add the scallions after I plate it so hers is green free. Hence, the nice perky green onion in the picture. If you add it in while still over the heat, expect some droopiness to your scallions, totally OK and yummy too.
Serve with plain white rice and your favorite eggs rolls.
The whole process, from cutting the chicken and scallions to eating takes around 30 minutes - so yummy, super easy and fast! What more could you want?!