Kung Pao-esque Chicken

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/

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Mix black peppercorns, mexican spicy seasoning, smokey paprika and 2 tablespoons of cornflour and stir to combine.
  2. Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks, then toss in the cornflour mixture to coat.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger, then trim and finely slice the spring onions.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lightly bash and add the peanuts, stir in the chicken, then toss well until warmed through.
DSC04927
Frying off my chicken bits
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Drain residual oil from your chicken bits
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Starting the sauce now
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Mix those chicken bits in
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Looks good enough to eat!
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Kung Pao-esque Chicken!

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