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P.F. Chang's Kung Pao Chicken

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 5.00. Votes: 2
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  • $0.79
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Menu Description:Quick-fired with peanuts, chili peppers and scallions. Our hot favorite.”

My favorite chicken dish at P.F. Chang’s is also the top spicy chicken entrée at the 89-unit China bistro chain. The secret for a great clone is combining the right ingredients for the perfect marinade that will also become the sauce. Soy sauce and oyster sauce provide the saltiness. Mirin, which is sweetened sake, contributes the sweet flavor component. Chili oil gives the sauce its spicy kick and a little rice vinegar adds the necessary acidy. Sliced chicken breasts take a soak in this sauce for about an hour, then the chicken is dusted with a little cornstarch and flash-fried in peanut oil. You can use a wok for the frying stage and then rinse it out for use in the final sauté, or you can use a medium saucepan to fry the chicken and a sauté pan to finish cooking everything with the reserved sauce. Either way, you’ll get a great clone that goes perfect with a side of white or brown rice. Nailed the recipe, but still can't pick up peanuts with chopsticks.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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Marinade Sauce
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  •  
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 5 to 6 dried arbol chilis
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
On The Side
  • Cooked white or brown rice
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      P.F. Chang's
    • Instructions

      1. Make the marinade by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.

      2. Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks, then stir it into the marinade, cover, and chill for 1 hour. Stir the chicken a couple times as it marinates.

      3. After 1 hour, pour the marinated chicken into a wire mesh strainer over a bowl. When all the liquid has strained off the chicken, dump the chicken into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch while tossing to evenly coat each piece. Save the sauce in the bowl.

      4. Heat 2 to 3 cups of oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium/high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer (around 300 degrees F), drop the chicken into the oil and cook it for about 2 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Remove the chicken to a plate, then rinse the pan or wok and preheat it over medium/high heat. 

      5. When your pan or wok is hot, add the strained sauce, peanuts, dried chilies, garlic and chili flakes. When the sauce begins to boil, add the chicken and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the green onion and cook for 1 more minute, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has darkened. Pour out onto a serving plate and serve with white or brown rice.

      Serves 2.

Reviews
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Score: 5.00. Votes: 2
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Foodie Cooks
Nov 22, 2014, 23:00

This recipe is just spot on! This is my favorite dish at PF Chang's and I have been trying to find a clone for years. None of the other recipes on the web ever came close. So happy that I stumbled upon this.

EL TORO...:)
Mar 27, 2013, 22:00

Dear Todd, Ther Recipe is about 98% Dead On. For the past 10 years I eat at least 3-4 times a week at PF. Chang's. I only order 4 dishes. I rotate them so as to vary my dining experience as I do with restaurants. Houstons is the other I frequent a lot. The only improvement I would suggest is to use chicken broth instead of water and to add a little peanut butter to the sauce and you have an Winner. Need to practice to make it for my girlfriend. Thank you for taking the time to do this

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