Kung Pao Anything!

I finally did it. I finally made a kung pao sauce that has enough heat and gooeyness to make me smile. I apologize for the pretty wonky photo, I had no idea this would work out so I had to get a screenshot of a video! After a few attempts this is it. Kung pao chicken is a staple on American Chinese menus, and it can be made with beef, just veggies, or even tofu. Now that I’ve got this under wraps, I can’t wait to whip it up. The best part is this is SUPER fast, with dinner on the table in about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Chicken thigh filets, remove skin that easily comes off and cut into one inch pieces – you could also use chicken breast
2 bell peppers, cored and diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced – use as much or as little as you like, I really love garlic
Red pepper flakes
Kung pao sauce – recipe below
Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, pr chopped peanuts for garnish

Kung pao sauce:
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
a good pinch of pepper

I recommend making the sauce first, so all the ingredients mend together. Mix everything together and whisk or use a fork to break up and stir. The cornstarch will settle, so just mix it up occasionally and definitely before you pour it into the pan. Once the sauce is made, set it aside.

You can use a little oil or even just a few sprays of nonstick spray. Chicken thighs have more fat so they don’t need as much oil. If you use too much, the chicken won’t brown and will end up super chewy. Over medium high heat, work in batches flipping chicken to ensure it cooks on all sides. As the chicken cooks, remove it from the pan and let sit on a plate with some paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Add a little more oil or a spray of nonstick and add the bell peppers, garlic, and a few good shakes of the red pepper flakes. Let the peppers soften a bit and when the garlic is fragrant taste for heat. You can always add more pepper flakes, but don’t overdo it if you’re not used to heat. Scrape up the bits of browned chicken for extra flavor. Stir the kung pao sauce one more time before adding to the bell pepper mixture. Mix everything together, and then let it sit a bit. The mixture will bubble a little, you don’t want it to be boiling or popping, but let the heat help it thicken. After a couple of minutes, add the cooked chicken back in. Stir it all together and get ready to serve.

This is where you will add the toppings, you can definitely add the sesame seeds or peanuts while you cook as well. Serve over rice, or even alone.

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