Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken (China)
- 1 tablespoon Shao Xing wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 6 tablespoons corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and sliced
- 5 dried chili peppers
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 scallion, trimmed and chopped
Whisk the cornstarch into the wine until it dissolves, then coat the chicken pieces with the mixture. Marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Heat half the oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring only occasionally, until wilted and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a bowl.
Add the remaining oil and the chili peppers; cook until they're slightly blackened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds, then stir in the chicken. Cook the chicken, stirring constantly, until it loses its pinkness, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat to low, then sprinkle the sugar over the chicken; stir in the soy sauce and the bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, then stir in the sesame oil and scallions. Garnish with peanuts and serve.
Time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 servings