Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao chicken is a famous Han dish made with spicy diced chicken and peanuts. The most important ingredient is of course the chicken with red pepper and fried peanuts as the auxiliary ingredients. In some Western countries, this world-famous dish is synonymous with Chinese cuisine.

History

It is said that the dish was created by Ding Baozhen, a governor of Sichuan province during the Qing Dynasty. He came from Niuchang Town, Zhijin County, Bijie City, Guizhou province.

According to the legend, Ding Baozhen was very interested in cooking. He liked eating chicken and peanuts, and especially loved spicy flavor. He created a delicacy made of diced chicken, red pepper, and peanuts while in office. It is originally a private home cuisine of Ding family, but as time passed it became a well-known dish. However, few people know why it is named "Kung Pao".

Kung Pao is actually the honorable official title of Ding Baozhen. He was a good governor during his 10-year service in Sichuan; he contributed a lot to the local people and died in the 11th year of the emperoror Guangxu's reign. So the Qing government conferred upon him posthumously an official title: "Kungbao", which means an officer who tutors the crown prince. 

Therefore, the delicacy created by him was named "Kung Pao chicken" following his official title and commemorates his great contributions.

How to Cook Kung Pao Chicken

Preparation

Main ingredients: chicken drumstick or breast, peanuts.

Other ingredients: shallot, ginger, garlic, edible oil, dry red pepper, peppercorns, chili powder, cooking wine, cooking starch, salt, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar.

Cooking

1. Prepare the ingredients above.

2. Soak peanuts in hot water for 10 minutes to remove peanut skin.

3. Use a moderate amount of oil to fry peanuts until they turn yellow, drain them, and set them in a bowl until cool. Cool peanuts are crisper.

4. Pick the bones, tendons and needless fat out of the chicken drumstick, retain a part of the chicken skin on the shank, and remove all the skin from the thigh because it is too greasy. Cut a cross on the chicken so that it can be pickled thoroughly.

5. Dice the chicken, add cooking wine, cooking starch, salt, ginger slice, stir together, and pickle them more than half an hour.

6. Slice the garlic, dice the shallot.

7. Use high-temperature fire to fry the dish. Make a bowl of starchy sauce by using sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cooking wine before cooking.

8. Heat oil in a hot wok, and then add peppercorns into the hot oil. Fry until it is fragrant then turn the fire down and add sliced pepper then fry until  bronze. The oil temperature must be low, or the pepper will be burnt.

9. Add sliced garlic and fry for a few seconds. Next add diced chicken and turn up the fire. Add cooking wine and chili powder, fry until the oil becomes red, and then add the starchy sauce.

10. Add cool peanuts and diced shallot, fry together. Dish up.