Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kung Po Chicken

I inherited Betty Crocker's Chinese Cookbook from my mom, and until I made this dish, I'd never cooked anything out of it before. Aside from stir fries, I don't typically make a lot of Chinese food at home. The ingredients lists are always so long, and there always seem to be so many steps required. To be honest, I was sort of dreading cooking from this cookbook during the Year of the Cookbook, just because I thought the recipes would be too complicated -- and also too dated, since this was initially published in 1981. I let Joe pick the recipe, and he chose kung po chicken (I always thought it was kung pao, but maybe that's an entirely different dish? I don't know).

Imagine my surprise when I ended up really, really enjoying this meal! The sauce was really tasty, and I loved the crunch of the crispy peanuts on top of the dish. When I'm making something like this, with lots of different steps and things that need to be added at certain times, I find it's best to organize everything I'm going to need before I even start cooking. That's what I did with this meal, and it came together flawlessly. This was a great MYOTO meal, MSG free, and it didn't taste "dated" at all -- just yummy. I definitely think I'll be using this cookbook more in the future.

Kung Po Chicken
Source: adapted from Betty Crocker's Chinese Cookbook

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper

1 large green pepper
1 medium onion

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Cut chicken into thin strips. Mix egg white, 1 teaspoon corn starch, the soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the white pepper in a bowl; stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut green pepper and onion into bite-size pieces.

3. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch, the water, wine, sugar, and sesame oil in a separate bowl.

4. Heat wok until 1 or 2 drops of water bubble and skitter when sprinkled in wok. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Fry peanuts until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove peanuts from wok; drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt.

5. Add onion, garlic and gingerroot to wok and stir-fry until onion is light brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken and green pepper; stir-fry until chicken turns white. Add Hoisin sauce and crushed red pepper flakes; cook and stir 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth and heat to boiling. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook and stir until thickened. Serve over rice or noodles.


Donna-FFW said...

Cassie- I hope you continue to try more because this looks fabulous!! Love chinese flavors. DEE-licious!

Debbie said...

Looks delicious! I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook that I just love!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum! Nick actually just made us some general chicken that was fabulous, I'll have to tell him to check this out (he's my resident Asian food cook since he doesn't mind dealing with strange ingredients like fermented black beans, etc.)