Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kung Pao:

Serves 2 as a main entree, or 4 as part of a multi-course meal ( Rachel Ray Recipe)

16 ounces chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
5 to 6 scallions
At least 10 dried red chilis
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
At least one handful of dry roasted peanuts

For marinade:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For sauce:
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark Soy sauce
1 teaspoon light Soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon chicken stock or water

Cube chicken breast and mix in the marinade mixture. Let stand while you prepare the other ingredients.

If you haven't done so already, mince the garlic and peel and slice the ginger. Roughly chop the white parts of scallions, and thinly slice the green parts for garnish. Leave the dried chilis whole, or if you're really worried about seeds falling out, slice them in half and take out as many seeds as possible (wear gloves!)

In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. (Note: Different brands of soy sauces vary in terms of saltiness, so taste your sauce. If it's too salty, add some sugar and water to dilute.)

Heat a wok with oil over high heat. Before the wok begins to smoke, add the chilis and Sichuan peppercorn. Stir-fry briefly until the chilis are slightly blistered and black and oil is slightly fragrant. Add chicken cubes and stir-fry 3 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. When the sauce is thickened and shiny, stir in peanuts. Mix to coat, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to plates, garnish with thinly sliced scallions, and serve.