Monday, January 5, 2015

Recipe Monday - Kung Pao Chicken

I've decided to include a Recipe Day each week and have chosen Mondays! If you are like me and always on the lookout for new, interesting, tasty, and fairly healthy recipes, I hope to be able to add a few of my favorites to your dinner meals. I love getting creative in the kitchen so my recipes are always evolving -- don't have this for the recipe, throw in that. Sometimes the "that" ends up being even better than the 'this.'  If I find a better that, I will update the recipe here.

Cooking has always been enjoyable for me. I think it must be the 'hands thing' again. I love the process of creating food especially food from scratch. To me, cooking something from a mix from the store that you have no control over is incomprehensible because I am a process person and love the feel of the food I create as much as I love eating it. Don't worry about thinking me daft, you won't be the first or the last I promise.

I love this meal. To make it healthier, you can use brown rice. I don't overly love eating 100 percent brown rice but on occasion do half brown/half white or all white. I encourage you to make recipes your own by substituting ingredients you and your family love. For example: you can use less of all of the sauce ingredients if you prefer a more traditional, thicker sauce. For me personally, I always have to add some Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce to the top of my plate to increase the heat factor!  YUM.

Kung Pao Chicken
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 14.5-ounce can cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (Separate 1 cup from can and reserve remaining broth)
  • 4 Tbsp Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar (can also use unseasoned if you prefer)
  • 4 Tbsp lite soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 4 tsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
  • 2 or 3 halves, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cubed
  • 1-1/2 red, yellow, or orange (or combination thereof) bell peppers cubed
  • 1 cup sliced thinly carrots
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and sliced (think slivered almonds look)
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 cups brown or white rice, cooked

  1. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 cup of chicken broth and whisk until cornstarch dissolves.  Add vinegar, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, 2 tsp sesame oil, and garlic; stir well and set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat cooking spray and 1 tsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add cubed chicken breast and cook until done (4 to 6 minutes). Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  3. Add remaining tsp of sesame oil and add in peppers and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute; add in water chestnuts and peanuts to pan and stir-fry for 4 minutes.  Add chicken broth mixture to skillet and bring to a boil.  Add chicken back to skillet.  As mixture thickens, slowly add reserved chicken broth to skillet a little at a time until reserved broth has been incorporated into mixture.  Simmer 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown or white rice.
Bon Appetit!

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