Chinese Kung Pao Chicken (Gong Bao chicken, 宫保雞丁)
After having this favorite dish so many times at various restaurants, I decided to make my own and have honed it over time. I adapted this recipe originally from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. You should ideally use raw unsalted peanuts without skin. Using 4 chilies will provide for mild spiciness, and you can adjust upwards from there by using more. The key to this dish is the rich sauce, so you should adjust the recipe to fit your taste. Enjoy!Chinese Kung Pao Chicken (Gong Bao chicken, 宫保雞丁),
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 4 to 8 dried red chili peppers, snipped on one end
- ½ teaspoon roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
- ¾ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
- ½ cup minced scallions
1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cold water.
2. In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of rice wine.
3. Heat wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and swirl to coat. Add chili and peppercorns and stir-fry for 15 seconds or until chili just begins to smoke. Push the mixture to the sides of the wok and add chicken in a single layer. Sear for 1 minute, then stir-fry for 1 minute or until chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through.
4. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil into the wok. Add the celery and bell peppers and stir-fry 1 minute or until the peppers begin to soften. Swirl the broth mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the chicken is just cooked through. Add the peanuts and scallions, sprinkle on the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the scallions are bright green.