Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kung Pao Chicken with Pepper & Onions

This week is a little crazy, we're going from southern Germany to Taiwan and making some tasty Kung Pao Chicken!


One thing I love about Asian dishes is that they are so simplistic yet packed full of flavor (and are usually on the healthy side). One of our missions as soon as we move to a new place is to find the best Chinese food place in town - so far in Houston we've tried a couple of places around our neighborhood but no winners as of yet, luckily I have a few go-to recipes up my sleeve to last us in the meantime. This is one of Lewis's favorite dishes - it's tangy and spicy and the texture of the peanuts add a nice crunch. There's a lot of ways to switch this up, you could add green onions, water chestnuts, snow peas, or broccoli depending on what ya feel like. I noticed that some people use brown sugar in place of honey, but I found that honey adds a better texture and you don't have to worry about undissolved sugar crystals.

Kung Pao Chicken with Pepper & Onions

serves 1-2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks (could use chicken thighs as well)
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 large red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced thin
2 TBS vegetable oil - divided
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBS(more or less depending on your spice preference) hot chili paste
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 TBS honey
2-3 dried red chilies
1/3 cup crushed dry roasted peanuts
1-2 cups cooked brown or white rice

Directions

1.Add flour to a bowl, add salt and pepper, then carefully toss chicken pieces to coat thinly in flour.

2.To make the sauce, add soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, dried chilies, vinegar, and honey - whisk until combined.

3.In a large sauce pan (or wok) heat oil on medium heat, then add onions, peppers, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 10-15 min. Reduce heat to medium low then add about half of the sauce and cook until slightly thickened - empty unto a plate and set aside. In the same pan add oil then saute floured chicken until cooked through and slightly browned, add remaining sauce and cook until chicken is coated. Add veggies back into the pan along with the peanuts, mix together then serve over rice. Discard dried chilies before serving.

Note: If you have leftovers, I would recommend reheating them in a skillet (rice included) and possibly making more sauce if it seems dry. Also, I have done this starting off with both raw and leftover cooked chicken - they both turned out good but the precooked chicken was a tad dry so I would recommend starting with raw.

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