18 August 2010

Kung Pao Chicken

Matt likes his chicken spicy.

Matt likes spicy chicken.

Matt likes to tell Mandy, too, that he likes his chicken spicy, always speaking of himself in the third person.

Matt watched too much Seinfeld.

George and Matt both have an affinity for Kung Pao.  And after Matt shared Kung Pao with Mandy years ago, Mandy began to like her chicken spicy.  (That whole sentence sounds dirty.  Mandy assures you that it is not.)

Matt and Mandy have been working to learn how to cook good Asian food at home, and the other night they tackled Kung Pao.  Matt and Mandy agree that there are three primary benefits to cooking Chinese food at home.
  1. It's healthier.
  2. It's cheaper.
  3. It doesn't make you feel like shit afterward.
It's not the prettiest meal that's ever been, but Mandy and Matt agreed that it tasted very good, and that it was pretty easy to make. 

Here's the recipe.

Kung Pao Chicken (adapted from this recipe)


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Matt and Mandy use the lower sodium one)
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 ounce hot chile paste
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts (Matt and Mandy skipped these because they don't like the crunch.)
4 ounces chopped peanuts


1.To Make Marinade: Combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture and mix together. Place chicken pieces in a glass dish or bowl and add marinade. Toss to coat. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2.To Make Sauce: In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture, chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Mix together and add green onion, garlic, water chestnuts and peanuts. In a medium skillet, heat sauce slowly until aromatic.
3.Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and saute in a large skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. When sauce is aromatic, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens.

*Note.  Matt doubled the sauce, which Mandy would recommend.

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