Kung Pao Chicken Wings
with fried rice
It wasn't until a few years ago that we decided to tackle a Cook Smarts version of saucy, spicy chicken wings. As soon as we mastered the technique, we (and our community of home cooks) were hooked! This oven-roasted method makes the process easy and produces crispy wings every time. This version is made with a spicy Kung Pao Sauce and a quick side of fried rice. Other versions of these wings were featured in 2017 and 2018.
Kung Pao Chicken Wings:
- Chicken, small wings and drumettes - 1 1/2 lbs
- Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Foil - for roasting
- Kung Pao Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - 1/4 cup
Kung Pao Fried Rice:
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped, green and white parts separate
- Limes - 1 , wedges
- Peas and carrots, frozen - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cooked rice (leftover from Tuesday) - 1 1/2 cups
- Kung Pao Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - 2 Tbsp
- Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Kung Pao Sauce:
- Ginger, fresh - 1 1/2 tsp , grated
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Water - 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Cornstarch - 1 tsp
- Chicken - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Pat wings and drumettes dry. Toss with baking powder and salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- Bell peppers / Ginger / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store bell peppers in one container. Combine ginger and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make Kung Pao Sauce - Combine ginger, garlic, first portion of water, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to let the flavors come together. Whisk together second portion of water and cornstarch and slowly add it to the sauce while stirring. Cook until sauce thickens, ~ 1 minute more. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions / Limes - Prep as directed. Store separately.
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place an oven-safe cooling rack on top. Top cooling rack with wings and drumettes, leaving some space in between so that air can circulate (this will help them to get crispy).
- Roast chicken until cooked through and crisp and golden on the outside, turning halfway through cooking, ~35 minutes total. (Check out this video to see how we make baked chicken wings.)
- When chicken is nearly finished baking, defrost peas and carrots in the microwave.
- Heat a wok or large skillet with oil over medium heat. Add white parts of green onions and bell peppers. Saute for 1 minute to get them started cooking.
- Add peas and carrots to wok and saute for 3 minutes more until peppers are tender and any extra moisture has cooked off. Stir in rice and Kung Pao Sauce (portion for rice). Saute until everything is evenly combined and warmed through, ~2 minutes more.
- Remove rice from heat and squeeze half the lime wedges over top. Stir in peanuts and green parts of green onions.
- When chicken is finished, toss with Kung Pao Sauce (portion for chicken).
- Serve chicken over fried rice with remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!