Friday, February 03, 2006

Kung Pao Chicken

I seem to be making a lot of Chinese recipes lately. Not only do I like the flavors, but also the veggies. I'm not a big cooked veggie eater. Another leftover from my mother who couldn't cook. Her idea of making vegetables was to open a can, pour it into a pan and then boil it to death. Imagine my surprise years later to discover that veggies aren't supposed to be mushy and tasteless. I like them best raw now. My second favorite is steamed or stir-fried. This recipe calls for broccoli, not one of my favorites but with a good sauce, even broccoli can be tasty.

Szechuan is spicy and I love spicy. Crushed red pepper . . . yum! I tried substituting grated ginger from my frozen stock, but that didn't work well so I resorted to the dried. And I left out the peanuts. But it was still fantastic! I can't wait for shrimp to go on special at my grocery store. I think this would be even better made with shrimp instead of chicken.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper.


Kung Pao Chicken
(Source: Cooking Light, December 2005)
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger, 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 suace
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 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; saute 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.
Yield: 4 servings
Recycle: hoisin sauce bottle, rice wine vinegar bottle, soy sauce bottle
Compost: broccoli stem, garlic skins

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