Introduction: Say goodbye to Chinese take-out and welcome the delightful flavors of homemade Kung Pao Chicken into your kitchen. This recipe combines succulent bite-sized chicken pieces with a medley of fresh vegetables and roasted peanuts, creating a dish that’s not only easy to make but is also destined to be a family favorite. In just 30 minutes, you can whip up a delicious and satisfying meal that rivals your favorite restaurant’s version.
Marinating the Chicken: The key to achieving that perfect balance of savory and sweet lies in the marination process. The chicken is coated in a mixture of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, and a touch of sweetness. This creates a flavorful base that infuses the chicken with a rich taste. A clever addition of cornstarch ensures a crispy exterior when the chicken is stir-fried, adding a delightful texture to each bite.
Stir-Frying the Goodness: Once marinated, the chicken is quickly stir-fried in toasted sesame oil until it achieves a beautiful golden brown hue. The sesame oil not only imparts a distinctive nutty flavor but also enhances the overall aromatic profile of the dish. The vibrant colors of diced red and green bell peppers, along with the freshness of green onions, are added to the mix, providing a visually appealing and nutritious touch to the ensemble.
The Aromatics and Heat: To elevate the dish’s complexity, minced fresh ginger, garlic, and dried red chili peppers join the party. These aromatic ingredients infuse the Kung Pao Chicken with a depth of flavor and a subtle kick of heat. The combination of these elements creates a tantalizing aroma that will have your kitchen smelling like a culinary haven.
Saucy Perfection: The final act involves bringing everything together in a luscious sauce made from the reserved soy sauce and vinegar mixture. As the sauce simmers, it thickens, coating the chicken and vegetables in a delectable glaze. The finishing touch is the addition of dry roasted peanuts, providing a satisfying crunch and a nutty undertone that perfectly complements the savory-sweet profile of the dish.
Serving and Storing: Serve this mouthwatering Kung Pao Chicken over a bed of rice, and you’ll have a complete and satisfying meal. The recipe’s flexibility also allows for easy storage, making it an excellent option for meal prepping. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for a convenient and delicious future meal. With its enticing flavors and straightforward preparation, this homemade Kung Pao Chicken is sure to become a regular star at your dining table.
Kung Pao Chicken
Skip Chinese take-out and make this Kung Pao Chicken right at home! This dish is made with stir-fried chicken, fresh veggies, and roasted peanuts. It’s easy to make and it’s sure to become a family favorite!
PREP TIME10 minutes
COOK TIME20 minutes
TOTAL TIME30 minutes
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1½ Tbsp white granulated sweetener or sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 10 dried red chili peppers
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, and sweetener, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of soy sauce and cornstarch, until smooth. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
- In a large deep skillet heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium to high heat; cook the chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the chicken pieces over and repeat on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the same skillet over medium heat.
- Add bell peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Then add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and dried chili peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the skillet and add the rice vinegar and soy sauce, stir to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in dry peanuts.Serve over rice, if desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Makes 5 ( 1 cup) servings
4 W/W Points® per serving
Smart.points: GREEN: 5 Smart.points per serving BLUE/PURPLE: 4 smart/points per serving
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 318TOTAL FAT: 14gSATURATED FAT: 3gCHOLESTEROL: 132mgSODIUM: 785mgCARBOHYDRATES: 14gNET CARBOHYDRATES: 11gFIBER: 3gSUGAR: 5gPROTEIN: 46g