Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kung Pao Spaghetti

This perfect Marco Polo dish, a fusion of Italian and Chinese cuisines, seems to have been invented by California Pizza Kitchen. I had this at their restaurant and found it to be so good I wanted to make it at home.

Julian's Kung Pao Spaghetti
It's simple to prep the several ingredients ahead of time, and just do the final cooking when you are ready for the meal. I love the spicy flavors combined with the classic thick spaghetti noodles, and the crunch that the peanuts provide.


1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons corn starch
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 3/4 cup raw peanuts
2 green onions, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
2/3 cups light soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine
1 tablespoon red chili paste with garlic, or more, to taste
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil


In a small bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes. Season chicken breasts with a mixture of corn starch, salt and pepper by sprinkling the mixture over the chicken and turning and doing the other side in a similar fashion. We are not attempting to 'bread' the chicken, just help it crisp up a bit when cooking. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until cooked through and lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add the raw peanuts to the skillet with a little salt, and stirring constantly cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain well.

Reheat skillet and add garlic and white portions of green onion and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in pasta, cooked chicken and cooked peanuts.

Plate and top with the chopped green upper stems of the green onions and serve.

Chicken browned and slightly crisp.

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