New Mexican Style Kung Pao Chicken

New Mexican Style Kung Pao Chicken

Serves three


The marinade

1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon rice wine, dry sherry or wine

• 1 teaspoon cornstarch

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• Optional: 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, ground

The stir fry

1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

• 6 green chiles (1 pound) or more as desired

• 1 jalapeño, diced, more if desired

• 1-3 garlic cloves, minced

• 2-3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

• 1/2 cup peanuts

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• Vegetable oil as required

• Optional: 6-10 dried chiles

• Optional: 1/2 pound zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces

• Optional: 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, ground

The sauce

• 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

• 1 tablespoon brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons corn starch

• 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 2 tablespoons sherry or wine


1. In a small cup, mix the marinade’s corn starch and the lemon juice.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cut chicken with all the marinade ingredients, including the corn starch mixed with lemon juice. Mix. Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

3. In a cup, combine the sauce’s corn starch and the sherry/wine or another liquid. Mix.

4. In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine all the sauce ingredients, including the mixed corn starch. Mix and simmer on low heat until reduced to 1/2 of its original volume.

5. Prepare all the stir fry ingredients and remove to individual dishes. This includes chopping the green chiles into bite-sized pieces, mincing the garlic, dicing the jalapeño peppers, peeling, cutting and mincing the ginger and preparing other vegetables being used, including zucchini.

6. Once the chicken is done marinating, put a large pan on high heat with the tablespoon of sesame oil and some vegetable oil.

7. Once the pan is very hot, put enough of the chicken in to quickly stir fry. Turn constantly until done, then remove to a separate dish. Continue until all the chicken is cooked.

8. Add more oil as required and stir fry the chiles, diced jalapeños and zucchini if using, until slightly singed, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a separate dish.

9. Add the ginger to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the peanuts and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic begins to brown.

10. Add the chicken and vegetables back to the pan. Mix. Pour the sauce into the pan. Add the dried chiles. Stir for an additional 1-2 minutes.

11. Remove from heat and serve with rice.


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