Cook This: Kung Pao Chicken

As we enter into this new year, we’re all still immersed in the tantalizing ideal of ‘new year, new me’ and fresh starts. This is the year I’ll get healthy: workout, eat healthy…Far too often those great intentions fall by the wayside within weeks of the ball dropping. To help those intentions become reality, Simply Amanda is sharing three healthy recipes that you’ll definitely want to put into the family menu rotation. She kicked things off in the January issue of Simply Family Magazine with a mouthwatering Cilantro Lime Seafood with Coconut Butternut Squash Rice recipe. Throughout the month she’ll share recipes for Lemon Chicken with Kale and Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce, and today’s recipe, Kung Pao Chicken.

Chinese take-out is the classic go-to for busy nights.  Don’t settle for calorie rich food when this healthy recipe is so simple that it can be prepared in less time than it takes to drive to your favorite restaurant.

This Kung Pao chicken packs a flavorful punch.  The peanuts add a wonderful crunch while the chicken is full of flavor from the garlic and soy sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken

Adapted from Oxygen Magazine

Makes 4 servings - ready in 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp soybean or cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp crushed hot red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions:

1. Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes. Heat oil in a work or saucepan, add chicken and cook until no longer pink.

2. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the onion, garlic, pepper and ginger to the pan and stir-fry 20 seconds.

4. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the rice wine; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil and add to the pan. Cook, stirring until sauce thickens.

5. Add the chicken and peanuts, stirring to combine with the sauce.  Serve over rice.