Friday, May 4, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken...and Cinco de Mayo!

What does a spicy Sechuan Chicken have to do with Cinco de Mayo?...absolutely nothing!

 The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16. 
Kung Pao, also translated as Gong Bao Chicken, a spicy, stir fry made with chicken, peanuts, and snow peas. My version with the bone-in chicken thighs...a healthier Sechuan version baked, instead of stir fried!

Kung Pao Chicken 
adapted from; Cooking Light magazine
Dec, 2010 

2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 medium chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch piece
I used 1 package-4 pieces chicken thighs, with bone-in
3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
I used 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 to 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
I used 2 fresh red chile peppers thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
Tbsp chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; saute 3 minutes or until softened. Add
garlic; saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken, saute 3 minutes until chicken begins to brown.

My method:
I baked my chicken pieces, bone-in in my toaster oven on a foil lined baked oven can bake in a conventional stove oven as well, 350 degrees F. for about 30-45 minutes. Just add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, salt, pepper, to taste, and your favorite spices, such as paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic salt with parsley is what I added.

Combine 3/4 cup water and the next 5 ingredients on the list...up to the crushed red pepper...stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.
Add water mixture to pa; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts
Yield 4 servings.
I added the peanuts with the chicken, at the last 10 minutes of baking!

Serve over Jasmine rice...cook according to directions!

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  1. yum, I think I will try this one!

  2. What a super idea, baked instead of stir-fried. Definitely healthier! And less mess on the stove top for sure. I like the inclusion of the other veges as well.

  3. This chicken looks so good with the tender peas and peanuts! The ginger really has my attention too. I'm going to give this a try. I always need new ideas of what to make with rice!

  4. I miss kung pao chicken, to be more accurate, I miss the sauce! The spicy and flavourful sauce has always got me in the mood for a 2nd helping of rice!

  5. I love Szechwan dishes and yours sounds great. I recently made crispy beef that was spicy and now I will be making your chicken.

  6. Oda vagyok az ázsiai konyháért, a csípős ételeket különösen kedvelem. Annyira szépek és kívánatosak a fotóid, valami mennyei íze lehet. Nálunk inkább csirkemellből készül, mert azt szeretik jobban a gyerekek. Szép hétvégét kívánok:)

  7. I did not know about this holiday:)
    I love all Chinese style chickens, yours look very tasty!

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  8. Looks so yummy! I love that your version has baked chicken instead of fried!

  9. Happy Cinco de Mayo Elisabeth!
    Your Kung Pao Chicken looks so savory, I wish I could just reach out and grab a little, yes, that would be rude, but it would be worth it ;-)

  10. Love Cooking Light recipes...and this one looks especially lovely! I love chicken thighs, but don't eat them as often these days since Michael prefers white meat. Sometimes I mix the two so I can have a thigh or drumstick! Hope your weekend is going well!

  11. Elizabeth, Happy Cinco de Mayo! What a great dish…I love Kung Pao chicken and you make it look so easy to do! Something I would love to try! Have a great weekend!

  12. Nagyon szép lett a csirkéd, guszta a zöldborsóval.
    Nálunk május első vasárnapján van nyáknapja, vagyis ma :)

  13. LOL...loved your opener..."absolutely nothing" ;) I love Kung Pao! The heat and the intensity of the flavors...the ginger! Yum! This looks fabulous!
    I'm hoping you are feeling better. How is your hand? Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers! Enjoy the remainder of the week-end. Hugs! xoxo

  14. This looks super yummy! I do like to bake many things that are usually fried! I love that it turned out this good Elisabeth! My mouth is watering and I didn't eat breakfast yet...I want some now! :D

  15. Oh my goodness! NEVER ate kung pao chicken! WHY?! I don't know, this looks too good.

  16. Elisabeth, thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello today. It was so nice to hear from you. This looks sooo good! Kung Pao Chicken is my "go to" order when we get Chinese. I love how you browned the chicken and added the peanuts in with them. I am definitely going to make this.

  17. Delicious chicken recipe Elisabeth.I like the peanuts. Thanks for wishing my daughter.

  18. Hi Elisabeth, wow ... your kung pao chicken look awesome.I like the snow peas too. Wish I can share with you. Lovely presentation too.

    BTW, how is your hand? Hope you've fully recover by now.
    Sorry for visiting late cos I was involved in 2 charity sales over two weekend. I was busy baking until about 3 or 4 am.

    Take care, my dear. Have a great week head. *hugs*

  19. Hope you're feeling a lot better now and hope you had a fun Cinco De Mayo, Elisabeth!
    Nice twist on the Kung Pao Chicken! I definitely prefer your baked version over the fried one!

  20. I really, really want to make this, Lizzie! So beautiful and tempting...and the snow peas are the perfect accompaniment!

  21. i love kung pao chicken and i love that you tried them on baking , your pictures look wonderful and yes..i love the peanuts too!!

  22. You are right Elisabeth this chicken looks almost the same with my inasal haha. but the flavor profile is quite different. i want a plate of this for a change as i had my inasal again last night hahah.
    thanks for picking me up at my site now i'm back!


  23. Oooooh , I love a good chicken dish and this looks irresistible , good one. :D.

  24. Ez valami mennyei lehet! :)

  25. Elisabeth, I love how you made kung pao chicken with baking method! I never thought of baking and then mix. You save time and of course it's a lot healthier! Have a great weekend! :-)