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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti


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
CPK
(Printable Recipe)



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

PASTA
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.


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22 comments:

  1. Does the recipe really call for 1/4 cup of garlic? I would reek for weeks, but the rest sounds good.

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  2. @wilonestar - it does call for 1/4 cup of garlic. We couldn't really taste the garlic - this dish is all about the heat. You could always reduce the garlic to what works for you.

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  3. That sounds good. We like almost any kind of pasta!

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  4. I continue to be in awe of and thankful for your ability to have a very good restaurant meal then go home and replicate it. Keep em coming.

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  5. Wow this looks good....good and spicy...me likey.

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  6. Yeah, I'll be making this very soon!

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  7. This was absolutely fantastic!

    I actually used my Crock Pot to cook this. I coated the chicken in cornstarch, mixed all the other ingredients (except pasta) and dumped it in. I cut down on the amount of chili paste as well.

    I made rice noodles, put the Kung pao chicken on top, it was AWESOME and SPICY! Mmmm! So glad I cut back on the chili paste

    Thanks for a great recipe!!

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  8. Michelle - crock pot - that is so cool! I bet it was a breeze to make! I'll have to try it.

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  9. I stumbled onto your blog while searching for a PF Chang Kung Pao Chicken recipe. I have long been a fan of CPK Kung Pao Spaghetti and have been making it at home for years. I love chicken....PF Chang's KPC is drier than any other I have had and I love it. I can't find a good recipe. I do make KPC at home but I want PF Chang's recipe!

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  10. Do you have to use the red chili paste? I'm not a fan of spicy food so I'm just wondering if I could make it w/out the paste in the sauce? Or is it really a big part of the recipe.. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Peninaopacifica - I think the red chili paste only adds heat. You can reduce it or leave it out all togehter.

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  12. This is possibly a ridiculously silly questions...

    What is CPK? You said you have their cookbook...

    Thanks for the great site! :)

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  13. Emily - it is California pizza Kitchen. One of my favorite restaurants!

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  14. Can you tell me a little bit more about the "egg white" coated chicken, puleeze ;0) I hate nothing more on this planet than a fried egg white. Phobia almost! Wouldn't eat an omelet on a bet and I'm afraid the coated chicken would be like that for me. Your dish didn't look that way, though. Thanks in advance! Luvin' the spicy ingredients!

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  15. Luvin' the Hubs - I also HATE omelets and scrambled eggs. HATE THEM. The chicken is cooked in the egg whites and it does make a type of omelet - they difference is there is so much chicken, that the egg cooks around the chicken. It gives the sauce something to stick to. I think you could make it without the eggs and it would be fine. I think you would like it as it - I never ever eat cooked eggs and I like this dish. You can't taste the egg.

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  16. Count me in, Stephanie! Thanks for the response *Ü*
    Tracy

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  17. Is the amount of chicken stock (1/2 c) really correct? I ask because I have seen this same recipe posted multiple places and they all say 1/2c, but someone in the comments on one recipe said that the book says 1.5c chicken stock. You said you have the book, can you confirm the amount?

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    Replies
    1. Kristi - it is 1/2 cup of chicken stock/broth. This is AMAZING! Hope you enjoy it!

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  18. Can u make it without chicken. Does it change the recipe?

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    Replies
    1. You can leave out the chicken. Just omit that part of the recipe. It should be fine.

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  19. Been meaning to thank you for sharing this! My daughter special request it when she comes home from college and even then several times during the course of the visit. Even the 10 yr old loves it.

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  20. Sounds really good.. But WHERE does one find red chili paste??? (what section of the supermarket?)

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