June 4, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

My oldest son loves chicken. Don't get me wrong he devours bacon and can eat a far larger portion that I ever can, but most days his meat of choice is chicken. It has been this way as far back as I can remember. When he started table foods I would cut up whatever food we were eating into very small bites and serve it to him. Most foods he wanted nothing to do with, until he discovered chicken. I thought that he would never stop breastfeeding and start table foods and then chicken became center stage (he still breastfed until I was halfway through my pregnancy with my youngest, but that is another long story). To this day if I mention dinner will contain chicken he gets very excited. He is also at the stage where he is wanting to help me more and more in the kitchen. I welcome this curiosity and enthusiasm, it's a great way to teach math without him knowing. Currently, he is still too young to handle the raw meat, but he has become quite good at measuring out ingredients and peeling vegetables. This week my oldest and I made a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken from the September issue of All You magazine.

This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 15 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of cook time and makes 4 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients and made no ingredient modifications. As always I made my own chicken stock. Additionally since I don't salt my stock I used regular soy sauce instead of reduced-sodium. I used a whole head of broccoli, which was slightly more than the four cups suggested by the recipe. For my serving I decided to leave off the chopped peanuts, but my husband served it this way and thought it was delicious. Finally I let my chicken and vegetables cook together closer to 10 minutes to ensure that my chicken thighs were fully cooked. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

My husband was disappointed that this recipe didn't taste like Kung Pao chicken. Kung Pao chicken is one of his favorite dishes, so he was expecting something different from this dish. He still thought that this recipe had a great flavor, but was in no way traditional Kung Pao. My two boys on the other hand loved this recipe and ate all the leftovers. I would agree that it doesn't taste like traditional Kung Pao. To me it had a taste similar to garlic chicken, if the name of the recipe had been changed to garlic chicken it would have been more accurate. Regardless of the name it is a very easy and inexpensive chicken recipe.

For the recipe go to Kung Pao Chicken.
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