Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't get Chinese Take Out, have your Kids Make it!

We are studying Chinese Cuisine this week. Today my 8th grade made Kung Pao Chicken. Now I don't expect any kids to whip up any Chinese food on their own....but if you provide them a good recipe and with your assistance/guidance....your kids TOO can create a meal as good as the 'take-out' places.

Here's our pretty pictorial steps and the full recipe follows:

I froze the chicken slightly first and then my students were instructed to cut them into slices and then into 1 inch cubes. (Why are they always so freaked out by the glob of fat on the chicken?) LOL

While someone is cutting the chicken, another is slicing up the veggies. Carrots in matchsticks or julienne. Broccoli in florets and green onion 'bigger' pieces, everything uniform to ensure even cooking.

All the veggies were put aside until everything was ready. In the upper left corner of the tray is a custard cup with chopped peanuts to mix in later.

The sauce (it will be added last to 'tie it all in') needs to be ready and put aside as well.

So 3 students were all busy either chopping, slicing, measuring, while the electric skillet was heating up!

In the skillet is 2 Tbsp. sesame oil and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil. In order to save time in class, they were instructed that as soon as the chicken started to 'whiten' up they were to go ahead and put in the veggies in so they'd cook at the same time. I know the recipe says otherwise but we are on a tight time schedule here!

As soon as the broccoli turns a bright green and when they choose a piece of the larger chunks of chicken, cut it and checked to see that there was no pink.....then it is time to add the sauce....sorry...I missed a picture of that....again time crunch and I also had to finish cooking....

...the noodles. Pick any from your Asian section. For years I've always done rice...but I was looking for something different this time. These were like the noodles you get in LO Mein.

Kung Pao Chicken

1lb boneless-skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” pieces)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Broccoli crown cut into florets
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
3 tablespoons green onions (chopped into long pieces)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Salt and pepper

Combine chicken, salt and pepper to taste and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.

Add broccoli, carrots, green onions to the wok and stir fry until tender crisp.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.

Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice (we used the noodles).

We garnished with a few bean sprouts and of don't complete the Chinese Cuisine experience without using CHOPSTICKS!!! (BTW, noodles are much easier for kids using chopsticks to pick up!) Kids RAVED more over this recipe than my kids who used other recipes I used in the past. I think this is a keeper!


Ginger said...

You know what I like about your Kung Pao Chicken???? EVERYTHING!!! I like the freshness and that you can control the sodium in the dish. Thank you so much for sharing. That really made me hungry.... :-)

Dana (the Homesteading Housewife) said...

Ohh Yum!! We will be making this one for sure! Thanks for sharing.
And Way To Go Mom for getting those young'ins cooking!