Kung Pao Chicken

It’s recipe week here at Simple Life and Home. If you’ve seen a dish on my monthly menu plan but can’t find the recipe, this is the week to stay tuned! First up: Kung Pao Chicken.

I started making this dish over five years ago when my sister-in-law shared the recipe with me. Kung Pao Chicken is one of my favorites when it comes to Asian cuisine, a dish I typically order at Asian restaurants. But five years ago, I was surviving the world of kindergarten, preschool and toddler-ville, so a visit to an Asian restaurant sounded more like a nightmare than a treat.

Naturally, I was thrilled with the possibility of making a favorite dish right in my own kitchen! The kids loved the rice, and I always kept some cooked-but-unseasoned chicken and veggies out for them, so it worked.

Recently, I’ve revived this Kung Pao Chicken recipe, and this time, I serve it to the kids, spices and all. I usually add some yummy crescent rolls and…if I have them on hand…egg rolls from the frozen food section of the grocery store.

Please don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list here. This Kung Pao Chicken delivers a spicy, flavorful dinner every time. The best tip I can give you is to measure, mix, and slice everything ahead of time. That way, when it’s time to do the cooking, you’re all set! (Otherwise, it can feel a little overwhelming.) Here’s what you’ll need.

Ingredients:

Chicken marinadeMarinade
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice wine
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

Stir frying oil
2 Tbs. canola or coconut oil, divided

SauceSauce
½ cup chicken broth (I was fresh out, so I just used ½ cup water with a chicken bullion cube.)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 ½ Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice wine
1 ¼ tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. dark sesame oil

Add insOther ingredients
6 – 8 green onions, sliced and divided (Keep the white tips separate from the green tops. You should end up with about 2 Tbs. of white and 1 cup of green.)
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 ½ Tbs. minced garlic (about 7 cloves)
1 ½ cups drained, sliced water chestnuts (optional)
¾ cup peanuts or cashews
3 – 4 cups cooked rice

Instructions:
1. Start the rice cooking on the stove top.
2. Prepare the marinade and add chicken pieces. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes.
3. Prepare sauce and set aside.

Cooking chicken

4. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture and stir fry 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from the wok and set aside for later.

Cooking seasonings

5. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add the white tips of the green onions, the garlic, and the chili garlic sauce. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add sauce and cook until thick, stirring constantly.

Thickened sauce

6. Add in the cooked chicken, water chestnuts, green onion tops, and nuts. Cook an additional minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

For those of you who are interested, here’s the handy dandy printable version:

Kung Pao Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This kung pao chicken delivers a spicy, flavorful dinner every time. The best part? You don't have to pay take-out prices to enjoy Asian cuisine at home!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. rice wine
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbs. canola or coconut oil, divided
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 ½ Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. rice wine
  • 1 ¼ tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. dark sesame oil
  • 6 – 8 green onions, sliced and divided (Keep the white tips separate from the green tops. You should end up with about 2 Tbs. of white and 1 cup of green.)
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbs. minced garlic (about 7 cloves)
  • 1 ½ cups drained, sliced water chestnuts (optional)
  • ¾ cup peanuts or cashews
  • 3 – 4 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Start the rice cooking on the stove top.
  2. Prepare the marinade (soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch and sesame oil) and add chicken pieces. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Prepare sauce (chicken broth, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, corn starch, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil) and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture and stir fry 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from the wok and set aside for later.
  5. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add the white tips of the green onions, the garlic, and the chili garlic sauce. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add sauce and cook until thick, stirring constantly.
  6. Add in the cooked chicken, water chestnuts, green onion tops, and nuts. Cook an additional minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

 

2 Responses to Kung Pao Chicken

  1. Mimi says:

    So glad you are still making this! Nice that you don’t have to separate the seasonings any more. I used to just rinse the sauce off the cooked chicken for the kids. Now they eat it seasoned. The original recipe comes from Cooking Light.

    • MaryJane says:

      I guess our kiddos are growing up! Thanks for the reminder on the original source. Do you happen to have a link to the original recipe? Thanks again for sharing…any more Asian recipes that you want to pass my way? 🙂

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