Creamy One Pot Kung Pao

We apologize for the break in posting. Life is a balance, and sometimes we must focus on one or two things in the daily chaos to stay sane. But we're back, and bringing you a special favorite in our family - creamy kung pao, with lots and lots of peanut butter. Yum!





To start out, we're going to make the creamy peanut sauce. I use 4 tablespoons of peanut butter in this recipe, but sometimes I use even more when cooking at home, especially since my boyfriend loves the extra creaminess! In this recipe, I add sriracha powder, which is a new spice I discovered at my local Safeway, and is an easy way to add heat to any recipe. At home, I often use some of Papa Gowdy's homemade from-scratch hot sauce for heat, but there are many spicy options that make delicious dishes.


My method of cooking chicken is something that is commonly used throughout my dishes - namely, I sear each piece and flip them individually. It's extra work, but the labor of leave leads to extremely delicious and tender chicken. Of course, it helps that in this recipe, we use chicken thighs, which tend to be moist no matter what you do to them. I cook them in grapeseed oil, which is not a common cooking oil. But I've discovered that this is a wonderful oil to saute with, since it does not smoke easily and has a bold flavor. In my house, I use a flat-bottomed cast iron wok, however any saute pan or wok will work just as well. I set my stove to medium high, which is the maximum heat my wok can take. If you use a higher or lower heat, be sure to tailor the cooking time accordingly.



After removing the chicken from the pan, cook the aromatics for about a minute. Then add the vegetables and the vegetable stock. This hails back to an Asian cooking technique Mama Gowdy taught me when I was growing up. She used to add water to vegetables and then covered them, which essentially quick steamed them, making them extremely tender in a short period of time. I take this technique a step farther by using vegetable stock that I make myself, although store bought vegetable or chicken stock is just as good.


After cooking the vegetables covered for a couple minutes, remove the lid and stir fry them until the vegetable stock evaporates. This leaves the flavor, but removes the excess liquid, which keeps the integrity of the peanut sauce in tact.



Once you add in the peanut sauce, be sure to stir fry constantly, otherwise the sauce WILL burn, which isn't something anyone wants. After a few minutes, turn off the heat and add the green onion. Stir fry for another 30 seconds to a minute. This wilts the green onion and helps bring out the flavor, without making the herb mushy.


Finally, I suggest serving over sticky rice. Peanut sauce plus rice is a delicious combination. However, if you're like me, and are avoiding processed carbs, stir fry dishes, such as this, are just as delicious over lettuce, spinach, or arugula (I'm partial to arugula myself).


I hope you enjoy this personal creation! Happy cooking!


Creamy One Pot Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry

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Prep Time Cook Time Total Time

20 min 15 min 35 min

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Creator(s): Caitlin Gowdy

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Stir Fry, One Pot

Serves: 4

Ingredients

STIR FRY

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, cubed

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 4 green onions, chopped finely

  • 1 large carrot, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned

  • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut small

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

  • 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

  • Pinch of smoked paprika

  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

  • Hot sauce, for garnish

  • Salt and pepper to taste

PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts

  • 4 tbsp peanut butter

  • 1 tbsp sriracha powder

  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Whisk together the sauce and set aside.

  2. Pour half of the grapeseed oil into the pan/wok. Let it heat up, then add in the chicken thigh cubes. Make sure they are evenly distributed across the bottom of the pan so they sear evenly. Cook for 2-3 minutes without touching it. Flip each piece with tongs or chopsticks, then cook for another 2 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir fry the chicken pieces for another 30 seconds to a minute, to be sure that each piece is seared and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add the rest of the grapeseed oil, as well as the garlic, ginger, and onion. Let cook for about a minute, then add the carrot, bell pepper, and broccoli. Pour in the vegetable stock, then cover for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and stir fry for another 3 minutes, or until the vegetable stock has evaporated. Pour in the peanut sauce, and re-add the chicken, and stir fry for another 3 minutes, so that the alcohol cooks out. Be sure to keep stir frying for the entire 3 minutes to avoid burning the sauce.

  4. Turn off the heat and add the green onion. Stir fry for another 30 seconds to a minute to incorporate the green onion.

  5. Serve immediately.

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Notes


* Cooking oil can be grapeseed oil, olive oil, or sesame oil, depending on taste.

* Siracha powder can be replaced with hot sauce, siracha sauce, or any other form of spiciness that is preferred.

* Nutrition info is based on 1/4 of the recipe, without rice or anything else.


Nutrition

  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe

  • Calories: 243.5

  • Fat: 14.9 g

  • Saturated fat: 2.0 g

  • Carbohydrates: 16.1 g

  • Sugar: 5.2 g

  • Sodium: 230.5 mg

  • Fiber: 5.0 g

  • Protein: 9.8 g


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We are the Gowdy's, cooking out of Northern California. Our recipes are focused on clean eating by creating as much as possible from scratch. We hope you enjoy our food. 

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