Kung Po chicken is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with diced chicken, peanuts, vegetables (traditionally leek only), sugar, vinegar, Szechuan pepper corns and chili peppers. The classic dish in Szechuan cuisine originated in the Szechuan province.
The dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen (1820-1886), a late Qing Dynasty official and governor of Szechuan province. His title was Kung Po, literally "Palace Guardian. The name Kung Po chicken is derived from this title.
The Original Szechuan version uses chicken leg as its primary ingredient. In this original version, diced chicken is typically mixed with a prepared marinade. Shaoxing wines used to enhance flavour in the marinade. The most important component of this dish is handfuls of Szechuan pepper corns. It is these pepper corns that give authentic Kung Po chicken its distinctive numbing flavour.