Kung pao chicken is traditionally stir-fried but I like it even better when it is breaded and crispy. This kung pao chicken is coated with a batter and then fried. I like breading because it really helps the sauce stick to the chicken for even more kung pao flavor in each bite. Like most kung pao chicken dishes this recipe is a little spicy and you can adjust the amount of heat by the amount of crushed red pepper you add. If you want this to taste like Chinese take-out using boneless skinless chicken thighs is a must, but if you would prefer, you can use boneless chicken breasts as well. The fried chicken is coated with a kung pao sauce and mixed with peanuts, celery and carrots. Serve with jasmine rice.
Crispy Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken breaded and fried.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 egg
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Peanut oil for frying
- 1 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- In a large bowl combine white pepper, corn starch, flour, egg, water, sesame oil, and garlic powder. Whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
- Heat peanut oil in a deep-fryer for 375 degrees Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden brown and fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.). Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- In a wok or medium skillet heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the pan. In the same pan, add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and powdered ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch and water mixture. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thick. Add peanuts, cooked chicken pieces and the cooked celery and carrots and toss to mix everything together.