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."
P.F.Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe
1/2 cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 packets Sweet-N-Low artificial sweetener
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cups chicken broth
8 ounces broccoli florets
2 tablespoons diet Parkay margarine
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Marinate the chicken ahead of time by combining the egg substitute, white pepper, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Drain well when ready to use. Discard the marinade.
Combine the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce and set aside.
Bring the 3 cups chicken broth to a boil in a wok or skillet, then reduce to a simmer. Add the drained pieces of marinated chicken and cook not quite all the way through. Remove the chicken from the pot, drain, and keep warm.
Put the broccoli in the simmering chicken broth and cook until crisp-tender. Drain and arrange in a ring on a serving platter and keep warm. Discard the broth and wipe the wok clean.
Heat the wok again and add the margarine. Add the ginger, green onion, and garlic, sauteing for just a few seconds. Add the stir-fry sauce and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the reserved chicken and cook all the way through, 2 to 4 minutes. Mix the 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and add to the simmering wok. Stir in the sesame oil. When the sauce has thickened, pour the stir-fry into the center of the broccoli ring.