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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Spicy Cashew Chicken




SPICY CASHEW CHICKEN
PF Chang's Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
black pepper
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai chili garlic sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly on the bias
1 large carrot, sliced thinly on the bias
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups snap peas (or snow peas)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped canned baby corn
3/4 cup cashews
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, cooked according to package directions

Toss together chicken, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus a couple grinds of black pepper in a bowl then set aside. In a separate bowl, combine remaining soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, Thai chili garlic sauce, and garlic. Microwave for 20 seconds in the microwave, then stir and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a lark wok or skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 2-3 minutes. Add celery, carrot, broccoli, snow peas, onion, and remaining oil if needed, then stir fry for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add water chestnuts and baby corn, then stir to combine. Add the sauce and cashews to the the wok, then let sauce bubble for 2 minutes. Serve over cooked white rice.

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