Kung Pao Chicken

Dish - Everyday Dish - - Mains -

Chicken: Cut the chicken into 2cm pieces. Com­bine the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents in a bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside if cook­ing im­me­di­ately or cover and re­frig­er­ate for up to 24 hours.

Sauce: Com­bine the in­gre­di­ents in a bowl and mix un­til smooth.

To cook: Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan un­til hot. Add the chicken in batches and stir-fry un­til the chicken sep­a­rates and is cooked through. Trans­fer to a plate as it’s cooked. Add a lit­tle more oil to the pan be­tween batches as needed. Add the chillis, gin­ger and gar­lic and fry for a few sec­onds un­til fra­grant. Don’t let them catch and

burn. Re­turn the chicken to the pan and com­bine. Give the sauce a stir and tip into the pan, toss­ing and stir­ring un­til the sauce is thick and glossy and ev­ery­thing is well coated. Add half the spring onions and nuts and mix through.

To serve: Trans­fer the chicken to a serv­ing bowl and top with the re­main­ing spring onions and nuts. Serves 4

A favourite dish of a 19th cen­tury Qing Dy­nasty gov­er­nor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen, this quick stir-fry is won­der­fully suc­cu­lent when made with chicken thighs. Black rice vine­gar, Shaox­ing cook­ing wine: see Glos­sary page 138

Juli­enne: see Kitchen Notes page 141

COOK’S TIP: Break the chillis in half and shake out the seeds as these give the most heat, but leave them in if you want a re­ally fiery dish!

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