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Kung-pao Chicken

宫(gōng) 保(bǎo) 鸡(jī) 丁(dīng)


Kung-pao Chicken, Sichuan cuisine, food in China

Kung-pao Chicken is a Sichuan style stir-fried dish consists of small slices of chicken block, dried chilies and peanuts. It is said that Ding Baozhen (丁宝桢), governor of Sichuan Province in the late Qing Dynasty invented the dish. It is spicy and mouth-watering but not very strong, with a little bit sweet and sour, excellent for eating in hot and humid climate. 

►Historical Story:
Ding Baozhen was born in Guizhou Province in southwest China. He hired more than ten chefs for his family during his career as an official in Shandong Province. He liked to introduce stir-fried chicken blocks, his most favorite dish to his important guests. Later he became the governor of Sichuan, brought the recipe there and he mixed it with the spicy cooking style of southwest China. He had improved the dish so much and he still liked the dish to be tasted by guests to the governor house. It was strongly welcomed; therefore, someone in the house stole the cooking method and introduced to restaurants. Also, Kung-pao had once been the official title given to Ding Baozhen by the Qing imperial court, so that the stir-fried chicken dish was named after him. And today the tastes and styles of Kung-pao Chicken are varied in many places in China. Sometimes pork is used instead of chicken. 

250 grams of chicken chest meat is used for the dish, with peanuts, white sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, broth, wet starch, pepper, chilies, ginger, garlic, shallot pieces, salt and yellow wine. 
Kung-pao Chicken, Sichuan cuisine, food in ChinaKung-pao Chicken, Sichuan cuisine, food in China

►Cooking Methods: 
Pat the chicken chest meat to make it become loose, and slice it into small blocks, approximately 1 or 2 cubic centimeters in size. Add salt, soy sauce, wet starch with the meat in a bowl and stir together. Fry peanuts and remove the skins, cut the chilies into 2-cm long pieces. Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, broth and wet starch into another bowl and make it become base sauce of the chicken dish. Before stir-frying all the stuff, heat the cooking oil and add the pepper. Remove pepper and add dried red chilies, and the hot oil in the pan becomes red. Then add the chicken pieces with yellow wine and stir-fried. Put ginger, garlic and pieces of shallot in and fry. Pour the base sauce and boil, add peanuts and deep-fry again. The Kung-pao Chicken is ready!
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