|Our new city! Los Angeles from the Getty Museum.|
|Kung Pao chicken: peppery and bursting with fresh ginger, garlic, and spring onions.|
|Zucchini noodles and carrot ribbons round out a meal that's light but flavorful.|
Kung Pao Chicken with Zucchini & Carrot Noodles
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe here
1 tablespoon black peppercorns (or Szechuan peppercorns if you have 'em)
2 tablespoons gluten free flour (or cornflour)
4-5 chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon oil that can withstand high heat (such as olive oil)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
3 green onions (spring onions/scallions), thinly sliced
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
2 teaspoons honey
4 zucchinis, spiralized into noodles (or shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
3 carrots, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1/4 cup crushed cashews
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coriander), coarsely chopped
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppercorns, and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking occasionally, until toasted and fragrant. Transfer the peppercorns to a grinder or a mortar and pestle, and grind finely.
Place the gluten free flour in a large bowl, and add the ground pepper. Add the chicken, and toss to coat evenly with the flour mixture.
Heat the large skillet again over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of oil. Carefully add the chicken to the pan, and fly for 7-8 minutes, until cooked through. Stir occasionally while cooking to avoid burning, and careful not to get burned by splattering oil. (A splatter screen makes this step much cleaner!). Remove the chicken from the pan and onto a plate lined with paper towels.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot over low heat, and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the zucchini and carrot noodles/ribbons to the pot, stir to coat in the oil, then cover with a lid. Continue to cook the noodles over low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and remove lid when finished.
Carefully discard most of the cooking oil from the skillet in which you cooked the chicken, leaving about 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, and red pepper flakes to the skillet, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the garlic doesn't burn. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and honey to the skillet, stirring to combine with the garlic-onion mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken back to the skillet, and stir to combine and reheat the chicken, about 2 minutes.
Serve the chicken over the zucchini and carrot noodles, and top with a sprinkle of the crushed cashews and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
Storage tip: The vegetable noodles will become mushy as leftovers, but they still taste fine. The chicken will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge.