6) Kung Pao Chicken 2.06 Presenting Lorelai Gilmore


“See now, only a lady can gracefully walk around a room with a book on her head while eating Kung Pao chicken. And a great lady can even spit the peanuts back into the container without anyone noticing.” “Wow” “Yeah, well, don't be intimidated. You have to practice and practice to get to my level.”


Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce

  • 1 tbsp of granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 tsp cooking sherry

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ½ tsp red chili pepper flakes

For the chicken:

  • 1 ½ lbs of chicken breast cut into small cubes

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • Salt and pepper

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper diced

  • 6 green onions, sliced thinly, separate the white and green parts

  • 1 cup of broccoli, chopped

  • ½ tsp red chili pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp of cornstarch

  • 1 tsp of water

  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve ⅔ of the marinade for the sauce.

  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat with cornstarch. Place in a large bowl and pour ⅓ of the marinade over the chicken. Make sure it’s fully coated. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.

  3. After the chicken has marinated, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and its marinade and allow to almost completely cook, about 7-8 minutes.

  4. Add the peppers, white parts of the green onion, the broccoli, and red pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and saute over medium-high heat until the vegetables soften, about 4-5 minutes.

  5. To the remaining ⅔ of marinade, add 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tsp of water and stir to fully combine. Add the sauce to the vegetables. The sauce should start to thicken. Allow to simmer for about a minute.

  6. Add the peanuts and half of the green parts of the onion. Simmer for an additional minute. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with the remaining green parts of the onion and additional peanuts if you wish.

I get impatient waiting for meat to marinade but this is a quick 20 minute marinade!

This is the first (of probably many) takeout dishes that I replicated! It’s no secret that part of the marvel of Gilmore Girls is how much they eat on that show (I mean, it’s why I’m able to do this project), but it’s also a marvel that they’re able to afford to eat out this much. They’re often ordering entire menus in one sitting or they order from multiple restaurants for just one meal. Even in episodes when they talk about having money problems, they still shell out a ton of money on food. If you’re wanting to recreate a Gilmore Girls staple, but not have to break the bank, this is a great option. If you don’t have hoisin sauce, you can simply add more soy sauce and you can replace the rice vinegar with white wine vinegar if that’s what you have on hand. You can also use two green bell peppers instead of red to save some money too.

Did you know Kung Pao chicken gets it's name from the cubed-shaped chicken?

Oftentimes, Kung Pao chicken is made with red chili peppers, but I’m sort of a wimp when it comes to spicy food. If you want to make this dish spicier, replace the red pepper flakes with real red chili peppers (about 6-8). You will add them with the rest of your veggies during the stir-fry. I have no idea why Lorelai spits her peanuts back into the container. I personally love peanuts, so I added even more on top when I served my dish. To each their own, I guess!


Rory is coming out to society in this episode! On my instagram, I asked a poll if this was in character for Rory or not because I was really curious to see what others thought. It was split fairly evenly, leaning a bit more towards it being in her character, which I found so interesting. Personally, I think this question is a little layered. I don’t necessarily think it was in character for Rory to want to partake in a coming out, but I do think it’s in character for Rory to want to please Emily. At least this is my case for season 2 Rory. Season 6 Rory joins the DAR, so maybe it is in her character all along.

I love the beautiful green and red colors in this dish.

Christopher appears in this episode again. When I discuss Chris I am separating his character from the actor (though that is difficult) because he is an awful person. But I will be talking about just Chris the character. I think in this episode specifically, he is a good dad. He shows up for Rory, participates in the ceremony, and is (sort of) getting his life together. I still think it’s lousy that he doesn’t call Rory regularly. Lorelai had to call an operator to track down his number. They also had no idea about his life in Boston. So overall, he’s still not cutting it as a good father.


The men aren’t cutting it for me in this episode (except for Jess, I love the scene when he comes down to the diner dressed as Luke). Dean is so annoying- let’s face it, he is this entire season- but I think he whines way too much. I get it, cotillions aren’t his thing, but if it makes Rory happy, I don’t see what the problem is. She already agreed to watch Battlebots with him for a month. He can suck it up for one night. Also, I never really knew what Battlebots was. I looked it up...it’s not something Rory would be into for an entire month, so shut up Dean.

This dish is really easy to make for when you're craving take out!

And then we have Richard. My thoughts on him in this episode are a little complicated. I get that he’s upset that he’s getting phased out of a company he dedicated decades of hard work to, but I think he’s so rude to Emily in this episode. Though this conflict leads to one of my favorite Richard and Emily episodes that is coming up: The Bracebridge Dinner, so be sure to come back and check out that post.


Things have been...well how they have been for the past year. I don’t really like talking about how it’s March again. Normally, this is my favorite month as my birthday is at the end of it, but it’s just been really hard knowing that we’re coming up to a full year of dealing with this. And to top it all off, Texas is going to be opening businesses back up to 100% and we will no longer have a state-wide mask mandate. It’s extremely frustrating that our state leadership is acting like we are no longer in a pandemic, just weeks after we all lost power and water. Trying to still find small pockets of joy, but that’s growing increasingly hard. This project does bring me joy, so I’m going to keep at it. Thanks for following along!


Happy Cooking!


Unless you're Lorelai, add extra peanuts!

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!


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I'm currently cooking my way through Gilmore Girls one episode at a time. I appreciate your support of my journey!

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