“Kapow” Kung Pao Chicken
PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS AND TRY THIS ALREADY 😉
I’ve been moping around lately. I’ve been in such a need of vacation, I almost feel like I’m about to go batty. Well, let me correct myself, I need a get away! You know, a maximum of 3 nights, 4 days kinda get away. I just want to clear my head. Reboot. But, I can’t. It’s hard sometimes to be an adult, isn’t it? So, the last couple of weeks, I’ve been checking out air fares. Having Frontier (airlines) throwing $19 one way trip emails left and right, every darn day, doesn’t help either.
Anyways… have you ever been in a situation, self-inflicted (nonetheless) – that you signed up for every single opportunity you have for volunteer work, side-work, work-work, not to mention you have a thousand obligations, such as events to attend, meetings, friends to visit, kid’s games to be at, the list goes on and on. And after months and months of doing what I think is right, non stop, I left myself “unattended.” I haven’t been quite “present” for myself. And it shows. It started to show on my attitude, my look. Yep, definitely my look. I haven’t had a haircut for forever. No mani, nor pedi. Exercise? What’s that? Ugh…
Sometimes, that strong wake-up call, such as “You don’t even look human anymore” when you look at yourself in the mirror, is very much needed. I need to do something about it. I need a get away, bad… But for now, I need to call my hair stylist. ASAP. Maybe tomorrow… no this weekend… well, soon… I can go to my usual nail salon – although there’s still a bunch of snow on the ground, and the salon ladies would probably not recognize me anymore – but hey… that’s a start, right?… Right?
I will stop moping around. I will say NO to more work, for a couple of days, let’s not get too crazy about that 🙂 I will weather this exceedingly busy season. I will give all the work I signed up for my all. I will give my friends my time and love. To be busy is a good thing. To have places to go to is a wonderful thing. To have friends who love me as much as I love them, is a gift!
So, to go with my “stop the whining” campaign to myself, I’m making Kung Pao chicken. I call it “Kapow” Kung Pao chicken. Because, this is not your typical washed-down version – a.k.a. syrupy sweet, overly salty and brown, everything tastes the same – Kung Pao chicken you find at many Chinese restaurants or food stands. Flavorful? Yes. Spicy? Yes. Addicting? Definitely. Founded on FoodRepublic.com –> this recipe sure is a dynamite!
- For the marinade
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pound boneless, skinless mix of chicken thighs and breasts, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
- 3 whole red chilies
- 1 cup grape seed oil
- 1" fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- 5 scallions, cut into ¼" pieces
- In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients. Add chicken and toss thoroughly. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in another bowl. Cut 2 whole chilies with kitchen shears into 1-inch-long pieces and remove all the seeds. But keep 1 seeded.
- Heat pan over high heat and add oil, until the surface begins to shimmer. Working in bacthes, sear the chicken for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, and drain excess oil by putting chicken in a strainer/skimmer over a bowl. Then pour the oil out of the pan, reserving about 3 tablespoons.
- Return the reserved 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant. Put in dried chilies and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Pour sauce into the pan. Continue cooking until the sauce evenly coats the chicken. Add peanuts and scallions and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.