Monday, February 11, 2013

Take Out Fake Out: Pei Wei Kung Pao Chicken

Another week has gone by, and that means another challenge for 52 weeks of cooking has been completed. This week the challenge was "Spicy". I couldn't pass up this chance to try a take-out fake out of one of my favorite dishes at Pei Wei: Kung Pao Chicken.

After some searching, I couldn't really find a recipe online so I used the picture from Pei Wei's website, the ingredient description from the menu and my memories of what it tasted like.

1 lb chicken, cut into one inch pieces
3 carrots, sliced into thing circles
8 oz (about a handful) of sugar snap peas
1 cup unsalted peanuts

For the sauce:
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp chicken broth

Add about 2 tbsp of cooking oil to a wok and let it get screaming hot. Once the oil is sizzling, add the diced chicken and cook through (takes about 7-8 minutes). If the pan is looking dry, add a splash of chicken broth. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the carrots and peas. What I love so much about Pei Wei's dish is that the veggies aren't cooked to death. So in order to achieve this, only leave them in the pan for about 2 minutes.

While they are cooking, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, chili paste and sugar. Add the chicken back to the pan. Once the pan is heated through, pour in the sauce and let it cook down while you mix together the corn starch and chicken broth. (This creates that shiny glaze look that you always get when ordering Asian dishes out.) Add the corn starch mixture and peanuts to the pan and give it a stir. Once the sauce thickens up, it's ready to serve!

And since this is is a takeout fake out, here is the comparison photo:

So how did I do?

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