Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

I haven’t been getting much cooking done lately with the hurricane and back-to-back trips out of state which have occupied my past few weekends. By the time I slept in my own bed this past Saturday night, all I looked forward to doing was settling down in my kitchen and making some food. Ahh, sometimes it’s nice just getting back into a routine, you know? Anyway, want to knock someone’s socks off tonight? Make these Kung Pao Chicken Tacos. I know, you’re thinking…huh?? Who mixes Chinese food and Mexican food? Well, I do. And trust me, you want to too. My friend Jodi benefits from some of the food I make for this blog and each time I make something new for her to eat, she always says it’s her new favorite. Well, this is now her new favorite. She says this is even better than her all-time favorite, Rustic Summer Squash Tart. I have to say that I think might have to I agree with her on this. These tacos are WOW.

Chicken is marinated in soy sauce before being lightly coated in cornstarch which gives it the subtle crispiness you find in Chinese food without it being too much of a guilty pleasure. A rich sauce of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sambal oelek adds a sweet but spicy punch of flavor to the chicken which is wrapped in broiled corn tortillas and topped with celery, fresh red pepper, and peanuts. My only recommendation with this is to warm the tortillas rather than broil them because the broiled tortillas make these a little tough to eat. I made leftovers by just warming the tortillas and they were perfect. The sauce is so good that I fully plan on making it anytime I need a sauce for chicken or pasta in a pinch. Please, give these a try. You’ll realize that Chinese food isn’t just for take out anymore.

The ingredients:

Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag with 1 tablespoon soy sauce to bag; seal. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Add chicken to cornstarch in dish, and toss chicken to thoroughly coat. Shake off excess cornstarch.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of coated chicken and sauté for 6 minutes or until done, turning to brown. Remove chicken from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat the procedure with remaining canola oil and coated chicken.

Combine remaining cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sambal oelek in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Microwave at HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring twice. Stir in garlic.

Combine soy sauce mixture, chicken, peanuts, and celery; toss to coat chicken.

Toast tortillas under broiler or on a griddle until lightly blistered, turning frequently.

Spoon chicken mixture onto tortillas and top each taco taco with green onions and bell pepper strips. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

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