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Kung Pao chicken

The history of kung pao chicken is believed to have originated in the Sichuan province. of southern China in the early 19th century. The story goes on to the story of Ding Baozhen, a young official and governor of Sichuan Province during the Qing Dynasty, who was saved from drowning by a local man. In gratitude, Ding visited the man and his family, who served him a dish of diced and marinated chicken, peanuts, and Sichuan peppercorns. Ding enjoyed the dish so much that he asked for the recipe. The dish is thought to be named after Ding's title, Gongbao, which translates to "Palace Guardian". Over time, Kung Pao chicken spread beyond the Sichuan province and became a staple of Chinese cuisine. It underwent variations in different regions and adopted local ingredients and flavours.

Today, Kung Pao chicken is a family favourite in any Indian-Chinese restaurant. It is one of the most ordered dishes on the menu for its sharp spice and lovely flavour. Commercial Kung Pao chicken is usually made from a ready commercial sauce that is usually filled with colour additives and preservatives. This is a relatively simple recipe and one that always turns out well. The colour is natural from the bright red Sichuan peppercorns and not food colouring.

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2 tablespoons white wine

1tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground

1 lb boneless chicken, very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 dried red chillies

Salt, to taste

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Drizzle of sesame oil

Mix the wine, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar well to make a smooth sauce. Make sure to break up all the lumps. Add the chicken, mix well, and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok on high. Add the garlic and sizzle for 5 seconds. Add the red chillies and stir. Almost immediately, add the marinated chicken and salt and mix well. Fry for 4-5 minutes on high until the chicken is well cooked but still moist. Drizzle with sesame oil and remove from the stove.

Serve immediately, garnished with scallions and peanuts.

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