God forbid..... (that I would ever need to be executed).
I would be an executioner's worst nightmare. I would never be able to choose my death dish. It would have to be a toss between so many dishes. My ethnic Malay Sambal Belacan and Fried Salted Fish with white rice, a Western Chocolate Anything and now a Chinese Kung Pao Chicken dish.
And this is all Terri's fault. Her Kung Pao Chicken was just too mouth watering to ignore. I couldn't shake it off no matter how hard I hit my head on the kitchen sink........ Or was it the stove? Anyway.....
This. Was. So. Good.
I followed Terri's detailed instructions to a T. I did everything she demanded that one should do. On my own initiative I had read Kung Pao Chicken recipe five times....then.... all the whys and the hows and the why nots. It was pure prep, chemistry and finally execution (pun not intended). Terri and A Daily Obsession remains my repository for Chinese cooking. Period.
N took one bite of the Kung Pao Chicken, looked at me and begun to nod.....slowly but surely. I stared back into two pools of dark eyes and saw drool.
The recipe ~
The only thing I would do to improve my Kung Pao Chicken would be to add little more stock or water or increase the ingredients for the sauce. So that I would have more Kung Pao sauce.
This Kung Pao Chicken wasn't fiery because I had gotten rid of the seeds in the dried chillies. That reduced the heat by quite a bit and by my insane standards the sichuan pepper wasn't that hot either. I had also replaced rice wine with 1 1/2 tsp of sugar instead. And I added some squares of yellow sweet peppers. Hence the spice meter of this dish was just right for some of my family members who cannot tolerate spicy food.
Kung Pao Chicken ~ by Terri of A Daily Obsession
250 gm skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 - 2cm squares
3/4 cup dried chillies, cut into 3 cm lengths
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
3/4 cup leek, cut diagonally into 2 cm lengths
1/2 cup yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 large handful of roasted peanuts
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp of finely chopped ginger
Chicken marinade :
2 tsp cornflour
1 small egg white
a dash of pepper
]2 T rice wine (I used 1 1/2 tsp sugar instead)
1/4 tsp salt
Sauce ingredients :
1/2 T rice vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 1/2 - 2 T dark soy sauce
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 T stock or water
1/2 tsp cornflour
Cut chicken breasts into chunks, 1.5 - 2 cm squares. Massage chicken marinade into the chicken pieces with your hands and leave in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a hot pan and fry chicken pieces in one layer at high heat. When chicken turns white at the sides, turn over and stir. Do not overcook (1 minute only) Remove chicken.
Pour away oil into a ceramic dish for later use. But leave 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok.
Fry chillies on very low heat in the oil until crispy. Make sure it doesn't burn by making sure the heat is very low. Scoop up and keep aside.
Pour away oil because this oil would be too hot(spicy) to re-use.
Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil from frying the chicken to the same wok. Throw in the leeks until they turn a bright green. Take out immediately and keep aside.
Add minced garlic and ginger, sichuan pepper to wok and stir a few seconds and fragrant. Pour the sauce mixture in , stirring all the time until the sauce gets dark thick and the sugar in it caramelizes. Add the chicken, leeks and stir quickly and lastly add peanuts.
Spice up your life and I wish you a lovely day ~