This Will Warm You Up! Kung Pao Chicken…

After a week of very cold weather across the country, I was thinking that I need to post a recipe that will warm you up from the inside out.  Kung Pao Chicken is a simple, yet flavorful dish where you can control the amount of heat.

I received this recipe from a dear friend and cooking mentor of mine.  They taught me how to cook with instinct, taste and the love of food.  Cooking is a creative art.  If you can create a dish with just knowing if you mix certain ingredients together and your finished product is exactly what you imagined it would be – that is true talent.  The original recipe was just that – a list of ingredients and instructions that said add a little of this, a little of that, more or less if you like, etc.  For me, I get it, for some, they need the recipe.  It was a bit of a challenge for me to translate into an exact measured recipe, however, I had fun doing it and remember – you don’t have to stick to the recipe…expand your creativity and who knows what you may come up with…

Kung Pao Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs – diced

Marinade for chicken

2 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

Mix all marinade ingredients together, pour into a gallon zip lock bag.  Add chicken and thoroughly coat.  Let it marinade for 1 – 2 hours.

Kung Pao Sauce

2 tbsp. black bean sauce

2 tsp. asian chili sauce

1 tsp. sugar

Mix together and set aside.

Remaining Ingredients

2-3 stalks of celery, sliced

2 cups bean sprouts

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 green onions thinly sliced (white and green parts)

2 – 3 dried hot chili peppers

½ cup unsalted Spanish peanuts

Corn starch

¼ cup of peanut oil

Heat a wok or large sauté pan until very hot.  Add oil. Rotate pan to coat.  Add in hot chilis and stir fry for 1 minute – remove.  Add in peanuts and stir fry for 1 minute – remove.  Drain marinade from chicken and dust the chicken with corn starch.  Add to pan and stir fry until cooked thru.  Add celery, bean sprouts, garlic and peanuts and stir fry for about 1 minute.  Add  Kung Pao sauce, cook until heated through.  Serve over white rice and top with green onions.

Enjoy and keep warm!!

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