It was one of those days when I craved some dirty Chinese. Food, that is. Dirty Chinese food. Greasy chow mein, deep-fried shrimp, chicken cooked in mysterious (and perhaps dubious?) brown sauce. I wanted ALL OF IT. No sharing.
Sadly, my date with the Chinese takeout boxes never happened. Instead, I cooked us some kung pao chicken stuffed in baked potatoes. Two comfort foods coming together to form the perfect symphony of flavor. You’re welcome.
I’m sharing a russet potato and sweet potato version of this recipe because I couldn’t decide which one I enjoyed more! So I’ll leave the decision up to you. Both are just as easy to make and equally delicious. Now let’s take care of those cravings . . .
MASTER MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- A Healthier Kung Pao Chicken: This recipe is adapted from my kung pao chicken nachos. I made the sauce even healthier by using less sweetener and less sodium. Hooray healthy Chinese food!
- Baking Sweet Potatoes: If you decide to make the sweet potato version of this recipe, be sure to line your baking pan or sheet with foil. Sweet potatoes release its sugars when it bakes, which is quite sticky and tends to drip to the bottom of the pan. Save yourself from an extra cleaning session by lining your pans.
- Cook the Sauce Last: The sauce in this recipe uses potato starch as a thickening agent. When the sauce cools, you’ll notice that it congeals very quickly. Try not to prepare the sauce until the potatoes are nearly done baking. If the sauce congeals before you are ready to add the chicken, add a few tablespoons of water and heat it up again. You can also substitute the potato starch with corn starch.
- A Note on Cooking Wines: Traditionally, kung pao chicken is prepared with shaoxing wine, which is available in most Asian supermarkets. However, they come in very big bottles, and I don’t blame you if you’re hesitant to buy it. In this recipe, I used sherry wine, which is a good substitute. If you don’t have any cooking wines on hand, feel free to skip that ingredient entirely. The sauce won’t have as much depth in flavor but will still taste great.
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a message! Or take a photo of the food and tag me on Instagram so that I can give you a fist bump! I love seeing your creations!