Restaurant Replica: Chang’s Spicy Chicken [from PF Changs]

Although it’s a “suburbanite chain,” I’m not afraid to admit that I love me some P.F. Chang’s.  At all my favorite restaurants, I have a staple dish that I rarely ever stray from. Well a few weeks ago, I strayed, and I ordered Chang’s Spicy Chicken. And I’ll never go back.  I’ve spent some time perusing the web and trying to figure out the perfect combination of recipes to replicate this tasty dish, and I am pretty freaking pleased with what I came up with. So come along while I get my spicy chaaang on, hungry ones…

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
For the batter (I wasn’t crazy about this batter recipe, it didn’t stick to the chicken very well. I would actually recommend just baking the chicken bites with no batter instead of frying them!):
  • 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour which is why my batter will look a little darker)
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
For the spicy sauce (which is awesome and I would love to put this on other food… starting with shrimp!!):
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  •  small bunch of chopped green onions
  • 1 small can of pineapple (chopped), including juice
  • 2 tbsp Chili Sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tsp cornstarch

Directions

Prepare the sauce: Heat the oil, garlic and green onions over medium heat until soft. Add pineapple and pineapple juice, chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and salt. In a separate container, combine the water and cornstarch.

Mix the cornstarch/water mixture into the sauce and stir over medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened. Add a little more chili sauce if you want spicier chicken…

Prepare the chicken by cutting it into 1-inch cubes.  If you decide to take my advice and skip the batter-frying, simply toss the chicken lightly in flour and cook it in a skillet sprayed with cooking oil, or even easier, throw it in the oven and let it bake.  However if you must fry, give the next two steps a try…

Begin heating vegetable oil in a large, deep frying pan.  Prepare the batter by whisking together the flour, salt, baking soda, egg, milk and water.

Dip the chicken cubes in batter, allow excess to drip off, and place in heated oil.  Brown both sides and remove when the chicken is cooked through. Place on a plate between paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Toss chicken in spicy sauce and serve with rice and veggies (I chose brown rice and snap peas!)

Anything that requires frying requires a lot of effort (there’s something about it that stresses me the hell out… maybe it’s the impending self-inflicted heart attack), so by the time I was done cooking I was too fried (hahaha I’m hysterical) to take a ton of pictures. I’m not sure if these snapshots do it justice, but it was really delicious! Roommate, boyfriend, and roommate’s-boyfriend verified (tested, approved, and subsequently devoured)!

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