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."
Kung Pao Chicken
KUNG PAO CHICKEN
P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1" pieces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons green onions (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Combine chicken and cornstarch in a bowl ; toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok or skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and stir fry for 5-7 minutes; remove chicken from wok. Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok; stir fry for 15 seconds. Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in another bowl; mix well and add the sauce to the wok. Return chicken to the wok; coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts; heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired; serve over white or fried rice.