Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

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Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 28 ounces (800g) boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch / corn flour

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock (or broth) -- water can be used
  • 5 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch / corn flour

Stir Fry:

  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic (4-6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum) seeded and diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum) seeded and diced
  • 1 large zucchini chopped into bit size pieces
  • 1 package white button mushrooms cut in half
  • 8-10 dried chilies cut into ½-inch pieces (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns lightly toasted and ground
  • 4 green onion / scallion stems cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted/unsalted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil optional

 

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the chicken in a shallow bowl; cover and marinate for 10 minutes (if time allows).

  2. Whisk sauce ingredients together until sugar dissolves; set aside.

  3. Heat a large skillet, pan or wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, allow to heat up, then add marinated chicken. Fry chicken for 3-4 minutes while occasionally stirring, until edges are browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Add remaining cooking oil into the same pan/wok. Stir in garlic, ginger, chili diced peppers (capsicums) and Sichuan peppercorns and stir fry for 1 minute. 

  5. Give the prepared sauce a mix, then pour it into the pan and bring it to a boil while stirring. 

  6. Once it begins to thicken slightly, add chicken back into the pan/wok and mix all of the ingredients through the sauce until the chicken is evenly coated and sauce has thickened, (about 2 minutes).

  7. Stir in green onions, peanuts and sesame oil. Toss well and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes to infuse all of the flavours together.

  8. Serve immediately with steamed/cooked rice or fried rice. Bon appetite!

Lauren Lawless