Stir-Fried Chinese Chicken and Peanuts
Serve this home-style version of kung pao chicken and peanuts with a side of steamed white rice. If you're feeding a large crowd, stir-fry an additional batch instead of making one large serving at once; overcrowding the pan won't allow the ingredients to cook properly. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
- 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 whole dried Chinese red peppers
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Dice the chicken and toss it in the marinade.
Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil. Lightly fry the peanuts for about 1 minute and remove. Add the scallions, red peppers, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds.
Just before adding to the pan, coat the chicken in the cornstarch. Fry until the chicken is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on the pan and the heat). Return the peanuts to the pan and mix thoroughly to combine with the chicken. Serve immediately with white rice.