Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Over the holidays, we go a little overboard on the turkey and ham so it’s always nice to take a break from those foods and make something different.

We’ve established a family tradition where we eat a lot of Asian foods after Thanksgiving because we’re so maxed out on all the traditional foods of the holiday season. Chinese food is a family favorite and I especially love the fact that I can make it at home. I know what the ingredients are, and I can customize the dish for my family, making it spicier for my husband and me, or milder for the kids. Making Chinese food at home is a lot easier than people think and Kung Pao Chicken is one of our favorite dishes to make!

Kung Pao Chicken

Here are my tips for easy and delicious Kung Pao Chicken that you can make at home:

Use chicken thigh meat instead of chicken breast for juicier chicken

Marinate your chicken overnight. This helps to yield really tender and flavorful chicken. I love using my KitchenAid® Ceramic Nesting Casserole dish. It’s large enough to hold my meat and allows me to marinate the chicken in one layer, which is key. And I just flip the chicken once, halfway through the marinating time.

Customize your dish: add as little or as much spice as you want. Sometimes, Kung Pao Chicken that you order from a Chinese restaurant can be too spicy. Adjust the spices to the level of heat that you want.

Add veggies! Add bell peppers or zucchini, it’s up to you! The veggies add color and texture in this dish.

I also love using my KitchenAid® 7-Ply Stainless Steel with Copper Core 10″ Skillet. This is my absolute favorite skillet and I use it all the time. I love the low, gently angled sides, and the skillet also has a larger surface area for quickly cooking, sautéing, and searing. From rim to rim, the multi-layered design ensures that every millimeter of cooking surface provides optimal heat distribution for great cooking results, every time. And for me, the 10” skillet is just the perfect size, not too large and not too small.

Let’s get started!

Kung Pao Chicken

First, you need to marinate your chicken. Using a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place the chicken in one layer into your Ceramic Nesting Casserole dish and pour the soy sauce mixture evenly over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for best results, flipping the chicken just once halfway through.

When ready to cook, leave the chicken on your kitchen counter and start making the sauce. Combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, gochujang, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, honey, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper. Stir together and taste, adjusting any ingredients as needed. Set aside.

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Using your KitchenAid® 7-Ply Stainless Steel with Copper Core 10″ Skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil and after a minute or two, add in the dried chilies and stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the oil starts to become slightly fragrant. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink, for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Kung Pao Chicken

Next, add the scallions, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat. Let your Kung Pao Chicken cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink. Sprinkle on and mix in the peanuts and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with more scallions and peanuts if desired and serve with rice. Enjoy!

Kung Pao Chicken

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Kung Pao Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Note for the cook: This is not an authentic Chinese Kung Pao Chicken recipe as I use a favorite Korean food ingredient, gochujang, to spice things up!

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese rice wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thigh meat, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes

For the kung pao chicken sauce

2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 to 2 heaping tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste; 2 tablespoons will make this very spicy
1 heaping tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey, or to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

For the kung pao chicken

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
8 to 10 dried red chilies
3 scallions, diced fine
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts for garnish

DIRECTIONS

First, you need to marinate your chicken. Using a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place the chicken in one layer in your KitchenAid® Ceramic Nesting Casserole dish and pour the soy sauce mixture evenly over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for best results, flipping the chicken just once halfway through.*

When ready to cook, leave the chicken on your kitchen counter and start making the sauce. Using another small mixing bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, gochujang, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, honey, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper. Stir together and taste, adjusting any ingredients as needed. Set aside.

Using your KitchenAid® 7-Ply Stainless Steel with Copper Core 10″ Skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil and after a minute or two, add in the dried chilies and stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the oil starts to become slightly fragrant. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink, for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the scallions, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger. Mix together and stir fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the sauce and toss together to coat. Let your Kung Pao Chicken cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and is no longer pink. Sprinkle on and mix in the peanuts and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with more scallions and peanuts if desired and serve with rice and enjoy!

*If you don’t have time to marinate your chicken overnight, marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*

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