Kung Pao Chicken (官保雞丁)

Kung Pao Chicken (官保雞丁)
 
My husband and I learned how to make this recipe from a cooking class in Beijing over five years ago. It's important to have all your ingredients ready, as once the wok is hot, everything needs to happen *fast*. Serve this recipe with stir-fried or steamed vegetables and brown rice.
Recipe type: Main, Chicken
Cuisine: Chinese, Sichuan
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients
Chicken & Marinade
  • 4½ tsp (22 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Shaoxing wine
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water
  • 1 lb (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
Sauce
  • 4½ tsp (22 mL) sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Chinese black vinegar, can substitute balsamic
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dark soy sauce
Cornstarch Slurry
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) water
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) cornstarch
Stir-Fry
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil or peanut oil
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) Sichuan peppercorns
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) dried chilies, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade. Add chicken and mix until the chicken appears to have “absorbed” excess liquid. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. In another small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in seasoned wok over high heat (medium-high if you are using a non-stick pan). Turn off heat and add Sichuan peppercorns. Cook, stirring until the Sichuan peppers darken. Remove the peppercorns, leaving the oil in the pan.
  4. Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add dried chilies (if using), garlic, ginger and white parts of green onions. Cook, stirring, until they become fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until browned. Stir in sauce and mix until the ingredients are well-coated, about 1 minute.
  5. Give the cornstarch and water one last stir before adding it to the wok. Continue to stir-fry ingredients until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, stir in roasted peanuts. Serve garnished with green onion.

 

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