Thursday, September 17, 2009

P.F. Mai Ling's Spicy Eggplant with Chicken

When it comes to going out for Chinese food, I'm about as snobby as you can get. It's pretty much International District, or you're going to see some disgusted looks on my face. So what if I act like a child? I'm just spoiled by Mom's cooking!

But the truth is, I love it when my girlfriends plan a date at P.F. Chang's. Not that I'm admitting they necessarily serve real Chinese food, but they do a good job of making everything so darn attractive and tasty. Actually, I really wouldn't know about everything, because I always order the same thing when I go there: Ground Chicken and Eggplant. I suppose I ventured from my usual fare a couple of times, but I always go back to this dish because it's so close to perfection. Finally, I decided I should try to make it myself. So I scoured the Web, but the closest I came to was this recipe on CDKitchen.

I made a few changes, and although it's still not as sweet and saucy as P.F. Chang's version, it's probably better for me this way.

Spicy Eggplant with Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. sugar
2 t. garlic chili paste
3 T. vegetable oil, divided
1/2 t. salt
1 lb. Asian eggplant, cut in bite-sized chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 T. grated ginger
2 scallions, chopped and divided
1 t. sesame oil
1/2 c. chicken stock
1 t. corn starch
2 T. Hoison sauce

Pulse chicken in a food processor until it's ground. Move to bowl and stir in soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar and garlic chili paste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 2 T. vegetable oil and salt. Cook eggplant for about 5 minutes, until soft, then remove from skillet.

Place remaining 1 T. vegetable oil and sesame oil in pan. Cook garlic, ginger and half the scallions for about 30 seconds, then add the marinated ground chicken and stir until cooked through. Stir chicken broth and corn starch together, then add to skillet and stir quickly until evenly distributed. Add Hoison sauce, the remaining scallions and cooked eggplant, and mix well.

Serve with rice.

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