Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A good knockoff? I have no idea
--PF Chang Chang's Spicy Chicken

PF Chang Chang's Spicy Chicken
Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 Copyright 1997,2007

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped green onions (about 3 onions)
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 cup vegetable oil
2 chicken breast fillets
1/3 cup cornstarch

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in medium saucepan. Sauté the garlic and onion in the oil for just a few seconds, not allowing the ingredients to burn, then quickly add the pineapple juice, followed by chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce.
2. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water and add it to the other ingredients in the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and continue to simmer on medium/high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick and syrupy.
(Instead of frying the chicken, I baked it as I did for Baked Lemon Chicken.)
3. Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a wok or a medium saucepan over medium heat.
4. While oil heats up, chop chicken breast fillets into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, toss chicken pieces with cornstarch until well-dusted.
5. Sauté coated chicken in the hot oil, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Remove chicken to a rack or paper towels to drain for a moment. Pour chicken into a medium bowl, add sauce and toss well to coat chicken. Serve immediately with rice on the side.

Serves 2.

I'll be honest, I've never eaten at a PF Chang's. We don't go out for Chinese food due to my son's peanut allergy, nor is there even a PF Chang's in our area. This recipe sounded so good though. This was a library book and my first Top Secret Recipe. Unfortunately I can't vouch for how good of a clone it is, not having had the real thing.

I chickened out when it came to frying the chicken. I decided to use the method I used for Baked Lemon Chicken. The recipe certainly wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. The sauce was spicy but not as sweet and salty as I thought it would be. It was sweet and sour sauce with a kick. I think I was expecting it to be more like General's chicken - more flavorful.

Once I got over my expectations and had a few bites, it grew on me. I'm not sure I'll make this again but it was still a fine dinner.

Oh, I doubled the recipe since I used more chicken but I really didn't need to. That amount of sauce could have covered the extra chicken.

I made this on my day off but it doesn't take very long and I probably could have squeezed it in on a work night. I've managed to manuever my schedule so that I'm getting home from work about 45 minutes earlier. What a world of difference that makes!

Question of the Day: Are there any restaurant recipes you'd like to be able to clone at home? I'd like to clone TGIF's Jack Daniel's sauce. Actually, I have a recipe in the Ugly Binder that might not be a clone but it's just as good. I'll have to pull it out soon.


Anonymous said...

I would love to make croutons at home like they do at a restaurant called Ruby Tuesdays. So good and not too crunchy like I like em!! I dont know if that is a popular chain or not anywhere else but around my area. LOL I dont get out of town much to find out. :)

Anonymous said...

I would love to be able to make good Louisiana food at home, have no clue as how to cook Cajun/Creole.

eko (

Anonymous said...

Hey - thanks for all the recipes, I love your blog! Do you happen t have the recipe for PFChangs lettuce wraps?
Thanks Kimberlu

The Cookbook Junkie said...

There is a recipe in the book for the lettuce wraps. It's the same one found at this link.

Heather said...

I would love to make many of the items at restaurants, however, with less fat and calories. I know that this same authors has a book like this. I just haven't tried anything from it.
Like you so many recipes so little time.

ThursdayNext said...

I would love to have the recipe for a local pub's spinach and artichoke dip!

Anonymous said...

I've had that dish at PF Changs but it was so long ago I don't think I'd remember the taste. Might have to try this though.

Usually the foods I want to try to make at home are foods the restaurant no longer serves! I'm still craving an old bacon/hash brown recipe from Marie Calendars.

Sara said...

i miss our neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant in Calgary. i haven't had Vietnamese food in more than a year.

Nicole said...

I would kill for Bennegan's broccoli bites.

Arties32 said...

Really there is only one- the tangy tomato dressing at Outback. It is good and I have no idea how to make it. There are a few recipes online but their reviews are very mixed. I don't want to waste my time trying to make it unless it's a good recipe. I don't know how to find it! As much as I try, I can't figure out what's in it. Any ideas, anyone??!! :)

Anonymous said...

My family loves PF Chang's, and our favorite dish is the Chang's Spicy Chicken. I have tried a few recipes on the internet, and I will say that this is the closest to the restaurant. I did make a few changes, I added 2 tsp. of sesame oil, 1 tsp. of oyster sauce, I used 2 1/2 tbsp. of the chili paste (instead of 2), and I lightly coated the chicken b/c the taste of the corn starch can be a little over powering for the dish. If you like this dish at the restaurant, you have to try this recipe!!! Thanks Cookbook Junkie!!!

Georgia Benton's

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Thanks Georgia. It's nice to hear from someone who's actually tried the restaurant version of this recipe.