Kung Pao Chicken
Combine marinade ingredients with chicken in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Heat a wok or large sauté pan with the coconut oil.
Add chestnuts, garlic, and ginger to the wok and stir fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the tamari, rice wine, sesame oil, chili paste, honey, vinegar, and broth.
Add chicken and stir fry until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, prepare your rice noodles according to instructions.
Toss in spinach leaves and cook until spinach is wilted.
Stir in cashews and garnish with green onion to serve over noodles.
Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!
Sichuanese chicken dishes such as an authentic Kung Pao Chicken are known for their spicy kick bite after bite. I’ve tamed this one down a bit by using chili paste rather than Sichuan peppercorns. Common as a take-out dish, this version of Kung Pao subs in a few healthier ingredients like a lower sodium tamari and honey rather than sugar. Toasted cashews are also included in place of the more traditional peanuts and this variation uses spinach as the main vegetable component.
Stir-fry style meals are typically served with rice or noodles to complete the dish. I recently discovered a unique par-cooked dried ramen style noodle that is perfect for using as a base with Kung Pao Chicken. Par-cooked noodles like these create result in a quick to prepare the side for Asian dishes in particular. Ramen has been given a bad rap mostly due to the infamous instant ramen popularly (and embarrassingly) used for “meals” in my college years. This, however, is not the same ramen. These long lanky noodles are a two-ingredient mixture of organic brown rice and millet so they are a great gluten-free alternative to Japanese wheat noodles. Brown rice and millet ramen give this meal a slight nuttiness that is a perfect partner to the savory flavors present in this Sichuan style sauce.
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