How has this week flown by so quickly? It seems that now that cooler weather has arrived, and the days are getting shorter…there just aren’t enough hours in the day. On the day I made this dish, I was pooped (a preschooler and an infant have a tendency to do that to you). I was severely tempted to bag it, and call in take-out. But, I garnered the strength to make dinner. So glad I did!
Easy? Check. Quick? Check. And, delicious to boot! I love cooking Chinese take-out dishes at home. They come together pretty quickly, are (usually) relatively healthy, and pack a punch of flavor. This Kung Pao chicken definitely held up it’s end of the bargain. It’s not a dish I ordinarily order from the local Chinese joint, so I don’t have any base comparison, but everyone really enjoyed it. I changed a couple things around from Nikki’s recipe. I diddn’t have peanuts on hand, so I used cashews. Also, I added some Sriracha sauce instead of hot pepper flakes simply for the fact that I’m currently infatuated with the stuff. I think it added an extra depth of color to the stir-fry, which is always nice with simple dishes like this. I had a couple of cans of water chestnuts lurking in the pantry, so I tossed some of those into the mix as well. A new favorite to add to the menu rotation for sure!
Kung Pao Chicken
1lb boneless-skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1 (8 oz) can water chesnuts, drained
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted cashews
Combine chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.
Add green onions, garlic, Sriracha, water chesnuts, and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.
Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted cashews. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice.
Source: adapted from Pennies On A Platter