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Sliced mango with a squeeze of lime juice makes an ideal dessert to go with this dish.
Kung pao chicken
- Preparation time:
- Cooking time:
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This legendary dish hails from China's Szechuan province and can be as hot as you like. Serve with fluffy rice for a fabulously fragrant supper.
3 Tbsp. soy sauce/ tamari
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ tsp. Szechuan peppercorns, crushed with mortar and pestle (pick out stems first)
¼ tsp. ground white pepper
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, visible fat trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces
10 dried red chili peppers, broken into 1” lengths and seeds shaken out
1 level Tbsp. cornstarch
2 level Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
½ cup chicken broth
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips, strips cut in half
8 scallions, diagonally cut into 1” lengths
1 (8-oz.) drained can bamboo shoots
1 (8-oz.) drained can water chestnuts
1 (5-oz.) bag baby spinach
*Up to 10 short sprays of any cooking spray are Free. After that, count ½ Syn for every additional 5 sprays.
- In a large bowl, mix 1½ tablespoons soy sauce, the vinegar, garlic, Szechuan peppercorns and white pepper. Add the chicken and dried chilis and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch, ketchup, tomato paste, sherry and the remaining 1½ tablespoons soy sauce. Whisk smooth, then whisk in the broth.
- Remove about half of the red chilis from the chicken, or remove all for a less spicy dish. Spray a large nonstick or ceramic skillet with cooking spray* and place over medium heat. With tongs, lift the chicken and remaining chilis from the bowl and add to the skillet. Discard the marinade.
- Cook the chicken, tossing often, for 5-6 minutes, or until it’s mostly opaque on the outside and about half cooked. Add the bell pepper, scallions, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Toss well, cover, and cook, stirring a few times for 4–5 minutes, or until the bell pepper is crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Whisk the broth mixture again, pour it into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat slightly and cook gently for 2–3 minutes, tossing, until the sauce has thickened.
- Line a shallow serving dish with the baby spinach leaves. Spoon the chicken over the spinach and serve hot.