I decided to try something a bit different one weekday dinner. Ben makes a pretty mean lemon chicken, so I wanted to give him a run for his money with a kung pao chicken. I found a really good recipe from Jamie Oliver, I quite like his recipes, they’re very sensible, and he’s a very relaxed home cook, particularly in his measurements.
Unfortunately, when I got home, I discovered that I did not have Szechuan peppercorns! Nevertheless, that did not deter me, I simply substituted the szechuan peppercorns with a mixture of black peppercorns, some mexican spicy seasoning, and smokey paprika. Totally not Asian, but it did work!
Thus, Kung Pao-esque chicken was born.
Prep and Cooking time: 1.5 hours
Serves: 2-4 people
Source: Adapted from http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/kung-pao-chicken/
1 tablespoon mixed black peppercorns, mexican spicy seasoning, and smokey paprika
2½ tablespoons cornflour
4 skinless chicken thighs, (350g)
vegetable oil for frying
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
5 cm piece of ginger, cut/sliced into very fine batons
2 spring onions
6 dried red chilli flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoon rice vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon runny honey
50 g unsalted peanuts
- Mix black peppercorns, mexican spicy seasoning, smokey paprika and 2 tablespoons of cornflour and stir to combine.
- Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks, then toss in the cornflour mixture to coat.
- Pour 2cm of oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the chicken and fry for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger, then trim and finely slice the spring onions.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a double layer of kitchen paper to drain. Carefully remove and discard most of the oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan, then return to a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes, or until lightly golden, then stir in the spring onions and whole chillies and fry for 1 further minute.
- Meanwhile, combine ½ tablespoon of cornflour and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix in the soy, vinegar and honey, then pour the mixture into the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Lightly bash and add the peanuts, stir in the chicken, then toss well until warmed through.