KUNG PAO SAUCE

1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil


EGG WHITE-CORNSTARCH MIXTURE

2 egg whites
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt


PASTA

1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4 " cubes
10 -15 whole chinese dried red chili peppers (don't eat these, they are for color and heat)
(I couldn't find these and the dish was plenty hot without them)
1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 cups coarsely-chopped scallions, greens and whites (I forgot to buy these and
used 2 tsp onion powder)


To Make the Kung Pao Sauce:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and cornstarch until the
cornstarch is fully dissolved. Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to
a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick
enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.


To Make Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture:

In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the egg whites, cornstarch, and salt
until thoroughly blended; be careful not to beat them into a froth. Set aside.


To Prepare the Pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente,
8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, heat the olive oil for about
1 minute. Add the chicken pieces to the Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture and toss to coat
them. Taking care to avoid splattering, add the coated chicken to the pan and cook like
a solid pancake until the egg mixture sets; then, using a large spatula, carefully flip the
chicken pieces over together and, with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces.

Gently stir the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the pan. As soon as they darken
in color, after no more than 1 minute, stir in the garlic and scallions. Once the garlic begins
to brown, after no more than 30 seconds, add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to
coat the ingredients.

When the pasta is ready, drain it well and, in a large mixing or serving bowl, toss it thoroughly
with the sauce and chicken. Serve family-style or transfer to individual serving bowls.

Source: Birmingham News, March 29, 2011