Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

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Early in our marriage, Brian and I bought a Sunset cookbook called, "Chinese Cook Book". It was published in 1979, so was already an "older" publication by the time we bought it (early 90s). We tried several recipes from it before settling on a favorite, Kung Pao Chicken, which we've been making ever since. You can tell from the book, that we made this recipe quite often. (Please tell me I'm not the only cook with food stains all over the books/recipe pages!)

Kung Pao Chicken is one of our oldest "Family Favorite" staples, and I can't believe it's taken me so long to share it on the blog. It's been mentioned in some past posts, but not with pictures.

Over the years we've made some minor changes to it. The ingredients in the "small bowl" below are doubled from the original recipe. The original recipe simply didn't make enough sauce. We also add stir fry veggies to it (usually peppers, as we keep those chopped and frozen year round). You can adjust the spiciness by the number of hot peppers used, as well as the variety of hot pepper.

Kung Pao Chicken
(Adapted from Sunset Chinese Cook Book)

Small Bowl:
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 TB sherry
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB white wine vinegar
3 TB water

Medium Bowl:
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB sherry
1 TB canola oil

Chop: 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Place them in the medium bowl and let sit until ready.

Have ready in 3 small bowls:
4-6 chile peppers
½ C peanuts

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp crushed garlic

2 whole green onions, chopped
Chopped stir fry veggies (peppers, carrots, peas, baby corn, etc.)

Heat wok*. Add 1 TB canola oil.
Add peppers & peanuts. Remove promptly.
Add 2 TB oil.
Add garlic & ginger. Stir.
Add chicken mixture until opaque.
Add peppers, peanuts, green onions, & any other stir fry veggies.
Add small bowl of sauce.
Cook until mixture thickens.

*I used to use a wok, but usually use a large skillet instead. Cook's Illustrated pointed out that heat is more evenly distributed in a skillet than in a wok.


Anonymous said...

I love this recipe too. But I lost my sunset cookbook. Thanking for sharing this.

Brian Heifner said...

I double the original Sunset's cooking sauce, but that is just me. ;-)