Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken

I love Asian cooking. I love the flavors they use, from fish sauce to hoisin to Sriracha. Back in Oregon, it wasn't hard to find excellent Chinese or kick ass sushi. Here in Kentucky, well, that is another story. The husband and I have to get our Chinese fix from our kitchen. One of our favorites is Cooking Light's Kung Pao Chicken. I must warn that if you are looking for an authentic Kung Pao Chicken as you would find in a Chinese restaurant, this is not what you are looking for. It is Cooking Light's version of Kung Pao Chicken. And for an Asian stir-fry, this is a good one. We serve it over steamed rice. Yum!

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World), divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and 2 teaspoons ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add water. Cover; cook 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove broccoli from pan; keep warm.
  • Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan; add remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, crushed red pepper, and chicken. Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  • Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Return broccoli mixture to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.
The only alterations I made were to add 1 onion, sliced, and 1 red bell pepper, sliced. I actually steamed the broccoli for 3 minutes on it's own and then threw the broccoli in with the other vegetables after I had sautéed the onions and red pepper. My one note is that the dish is not that spicy if you add the crushed red pepper to the chicken. Next time I will add the red pepper to the sauce and allow the spiciness to incorporate with the sauce. As for the sauce, I recommend making extra if you are adding more vegetables to the dish.

The final result! We dusted our plates with toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

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