Kung Pao Chicken with Lettuce

A friend of mine and I have made Food & Wine’s recipe many times, which is great! But this time I wanted to make something a little different with the recipe. The added lettuce does make a difference, and it’s a good way to sneak in some greens, which I don’t get enough of… I really should start eating more salads. Kung Pao is a classic Szechuan Cuisine dish, originating in Central-Western China. It is said that it was named after a Qing Dynasty Official, because this was one of this favorite meals.

Helga

Kung Pao Chicken with Lettuce

Adapted from Food & Wine’s recipe
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup peanuts
4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup water
1/4 cups shredded carrot
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Shredded iceberg lettuce

Preparation:

  1. In a small pot, bring the rice, shredded carrot, garlic powder and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat. Let boil 1min, then cover the pot tightly and adjust the heat to its lowest temperature and let sit unopened for 20 minutes.
  2. While the rice cooks, in a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
  4. In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the peanuts and stir-fry until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy-sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the peanuts. Serve over a bed of shredded lettuce topped with rice.

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