I don't like Asian food. I don't eat at Chinese buffets or Japanese steak houses. The one and only Asian dish I eat is Kung Pao Chicken. Just like George Costanza, Steph likes spicy chicken!
I actually discovered that I liked Kung Pao by accident the first time we ate at PF Changs. I ordered lemon chicken, to be safe, and didn't really like it. It was too bland. Chicken Legs had ordered Kung Pao chicken and let me try it. It turned out that I really liked it! We recently went to CPK for dinner and Chicken Legs ordered their Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti. I had a bite and it was fantastic. I remembered that I had the CPK cookbook at home, so I decided to whip up a batch last weekend.
This was super fantastic! Chicken Legs declared it the best thing I've ever made. He hasn't stopped raving about it all weekend (seriously!). This is really spicy - I mean really spicy. I didn't add the dried chili peppers (couldn't find them), and it was plenty hot without them. This tasted just as good as it did at CPK (if not better). It wasn't hard to make; it just took some prep work before getting started. I would recommend making this on t he weekend. I highly recommend this if you like spicy chicken like Chicken Legs, George & I do.
Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti
KUNG PAO SAUCE
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
EGG WHITE-CORNSTARCH MIXTURE
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4 " cubes
10 -15 whole chinese dried red chili peppers (don't eat these, they are for color and heat) (I couldn't find these and the dish was plenty hot without them)
1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 cups coarsely-chopped scallions, greens and whites (I forgot to buy these and used 2 tsp onion powder)
To Make the Kung Pao Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and cornstarch until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
To Make Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture:
In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the egg whites, cornstarch, and salt until thoroughly blended; be careful not to beat them into a froth. Set aside.
To Prepare the Pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, heat the olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces to the Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture and toss to coat them. Taking care to avoid splattering, add the coated chicken to the pan and cook like a solid pancake until the egg mixture sets; then, using a large spatula, carefully flip the chicken pieces over together and, with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces.
Gently stir the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the pan. As soon as they darken in color, after no more than 1 minute, stir in the garlic and scallions. Once the garlic begins to brown, after no more than 30 seconds, add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to coat the ingredients.
When the pasta is ready, drain it well and, in a large mixing or serving bowl, toss it thoroughly with the sauce and chicken. Serve family-style or transfer to individual serving bowls.