P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."

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Firecracker Chicken



FIRECRACKER CHICKEN
P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe

Serves 2-4

2 oz marinated chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
2 teaspoons crushed red chili pepper
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
1 teaspoon cooking wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chili sauce), optional
1 tablespoon cornstarch mix (equal parts cornstarch powder and water)
2 scallions, diced, as an optional topper for color

Marinade:
12 oz chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Stir together vegetable oil, egg white, cornstarch and salt in a mixing bowl. Add chicken, and mix, making sure to coat all of the chicken with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to marinate. Prep everything else while the meat marinates because the recipe goes together fast. Heat vegetable oil in a large wok (or non-stick skillet) over a high flame. Add marinated chicken and stir quickly, separating the meat and then cook for approximately 1 minute. Remove cooked chicken and drain well. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, ginger, chili pepper and black beans into the heated skillet. Stir for 1 minute. Add cooked chicken, cooking wine, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, sriracha and cornstarch mix with water. Stir until the sauce boils and thickens. Add sesame oil and continue stirring until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and cook through, about 3-4 minutes. Place finished product on a dish and serve

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