This recipe, aka Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken, is adapted from seriouseats.com. It calls for several ingredients you may not have on hand, which is a bit costly initially, but most have a long shelf life so you can make this delicious meal over and over.
For the Chicken:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 t Shaoxing wine (dry sherry will work as substitute)
- 2 t soy sauce
- 2 t cornstarch
- Large pinch kosher salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 T honey
- 2 T Chinkiang vinegar (see note)
- 1 T Shaoxing wine
- 2 t soy sauce
- 1/2 t cornstarch
- Chicken stock, as needed
For the Stir-Fry:
- 3 T peanut oil
- 6 to 12 small dried red chiles (such as árbol), stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces with scissors, seeds discarded
- 1 t Sichuan peppercorns, reddish husks only (stems and black seeds discarded)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks or grated
- 6 green onions, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 C peanuts
For the Chicken: Combine chicken, wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl and turn until well mixed and chicken is evenly coated in a thin film of the cornstarch paste. Set aside.
For the Sauce: Combine honey, vinegar, wine, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork until no clumps of cornstarch remain.
To Stir-Fry: Pour a small amount of oil into the bottom of a large wok or skillet and rub around with a paper towel. Place over high heat and preheat until smoking. Add remaining oil and immediately add chiles and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir-fry until fragrant but not burnt, about 5 seconds. Immediately add chicken and stir-fry until there are no longer pink spots on the exterior (chicken will still be raw in center at this stage), 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add scallions and peanuts and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add sauce ingredients and stir-fry until all the ingredients are coated evenly and the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to keep the sauce from clumping. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.