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From our Freshologists: Some Like It Hot – Dynasty Chili Oil

I love flavored oils of all kinds, both to add flavor while cooking and to set out on the table for guests who like it even spicier than me. Flavored oils are especially great for Asian sauces and stir-fries, and my addiction of choice right now is Dynasty Chili Oil.

This is a simple but fiery sauce, made of minced chili peppers soaked in sesame, garlic & ginger oil, and it reminds me of the chili sauce on the table at my favorite Chinese restaurants. (It’s made by a company, Pacific Rim Gourmet, that also sells lots of great sauces, dressings, rice wine vinegars and other ingredients for at-home Asian cooking.) I love it stirred into a marinade or a sauce, especially when making a wok-fired stir-fry. It’s pretty spicy-hot, so I tend to use it fairly sparingly – but I always keep it out on the table, so those who can take the heat can kick it up a notch. Here, it stars in a restaurant-worthy stir-fry. This recipe is flavorful enough to satisfy guests, but because of the quick stir-fry time, it’s also a great option for a family dinner.

Kung Pao Chicken

Serves 4

Marinade:
2 Tbs Michiu Rice Wine
2 Tbs peanut oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

Sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Michiu Rice Wine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dynasty Hoisin Sauce
1/2 Tbs Dynasty Chili Oil (more or less to taste)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 inch piece ginger, peeled, slice & diced, very small

Stir-Fry:
3 Tbs peanut oil
2 green onions, white part cut into 1/2 inch pieces, green part julienned into thin strips
1/2 cup peanuts
4 Tbs chicken stock, plus 2 Tbs cornstarch, mixed to make a slurry

In a non-reactive bowl, prepare the marinade. Stir in the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

Over high heat, in a wok, bring the peanut oil to almost smoking temperature. Stir-fry the ginger, garlic and white part of the green onions for 30 to 40 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden in color.

Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the peanuts. Thicken with the slurry and continue to cook until glossy. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with julienne green onions.