I am glad to be writing about something that isn’t dessert for once! Seems like a long time since I posted an actual meal. I was struggling with what to make for dinner last night. I took some chicken out of the freezer earlier in the day, but didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. Then I started craving something Asian in nature. I found a couple of really yummy looking recipes like this Asian Chicken recipe or this Honey Ginger Chicken, but both needed a long time to marinate. And since my chicken was still frozen at noon, those didn’t seem like possibilities. Though, when I am planning ahead more I will try those for sure! I finally found a Kung Pao Chicken recipe that looked like with a few modifications could be a winner. It fit what I was looking for…..chicken, Asian flavors, saucy, serve over rice!
Kung Pao Chicken
Adapated from Allrecipes
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
5 Tbls white wine
5 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls sesame oil
1 Tbls cornstarch, dissolved in water
1 Tbls hot chili paste
3 tsp rice vinegar
6 tsp brown sugar
5 green onions, chopped
1 Tbls chopped garlic
1 small can waterchestnuts
2 cups veggies (mushrooms, green peppers, carrots, zucchini etc.)
First you want to make the marinade. I like to use a gallon size ziploc bag, because I throw it away when it is done, and there are no dirty dishes (aside from the measuring spoons). Combine 2 Tbls wine, 2 Tbls soy sauce, 1 Tbls oil, and 1 Tbls cornstarch mixture. Add in the chicken, that is cut into chunks. Toss to coat, and marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes. I don’t drink white wine, but I do buy those little 4 packs that they sell in the store now. So when a recipe calls for it, I can open this tiny bottle, and not have a big investment in 1 ingredient.
While that is marinating you can make the sauce. Combine 3 Tbls wine, 3 Tbls soy sauce, 1 Tbls oil, chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Set aside. Next, chop your veggies. You can really use whatever your family likes. I had zucchini in the fridge that needed to get used. So I used that and mushrooms for us. But you could use broccoli, bell peppers, carrots….really whatever you like!
Now you are ready to cook. I think the key with making anything Asian is to have everything ready before you turn on the pan. You want to have the sauce made, the veggies chopped, everything. Even down to the table set, and drinks ready. Asian food tends to cook on a high heat and be done quickly, and most of that time is hands on. So you don’t want to be running around the kitchen trying to do other things at the same time.
In a large skillet saute the chicken until the meat is cooked through. Remove it from the pan. Then add in the veggies, and cook them until tender. Remove them from the pan. Finally reduce the heat, and add the garlic, green onions, and water chestnuts. Saute them for a couple minutes, and pour in the sauce. Heat sauce slowly until it is aromatic (smells good). Add the chicken and veggies back into the pan. Cook for a couple more minutes to heat everything back up. The sauce should start to thicken slightly. If you like a thicker sauce you can add in a little more cornstarch that is dissolved in water. Serve over rice, and top with chopped peanuts for some crunch. Cashews would be good too, if you don’t have peanuts.