Friday, December 2, 2011

General Tso's Chicken

After making this dish, I am definitely throwing out my Chinese take-out menus and making my own at home because it was so easy.  What I love about making my own take-out is I can control not only the quality of ingredients, but the fat as well.   My family loves General Tso's Chicken, but I don't like to order it because I know it's full of fat and calories.   The dish is usually deep fried in a lot of oil and then coated in thick sweet and spicy sauce.  I wanted to make my own version of this dish and avoid the deep frying step.  I used a total of 3Tbs of oil to cook 3lbs of chicken enough to serve 6-8 people.  I think one person's portion must contain that much oil when you order it from the take-out menu.  I  gave the dish my own version of  the sweet and spicy sauce and it tasted just like at the restaurant, but better because I knew what I put into it.   So, put down that take-out menu and give it a try, your waistline and wallet will thank you. :) 

3lbs of boneless chicken (see notes below)
A mix of cornstarch/pepper/salt to dust the chicken
1lb of broccoli (partially steamed)
1 can of water chestnuts drained
Red chili flakes (or whole dried red chilies) to taste
3Tbs of ginger/garlic paste or equal portions of each ginger and garlic grated

Optional Garnish:  toasted sesame seeds

 1. You can adjust your ingredients according to how much chicken you use.  Divide all the ingredients by 3 to make only one pound of chicken.

2. I used thigh meat, but you can lower the calories more by using breast meat

General Tso's Sauce for 3lbs of chicken:
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
2-3Tbs of honey
1Tbs rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup of chicken broth (or water/bullion equivalent)
1/4 cup of Shao Hsing Chinese Rice Wine or substitute dry sherry 
2Tbs cornstarch

Note: Divide all the sauce ingredients by 3 to make only one pound of chicken. 

Partially steam  your broccoli in your wok with a little bit of water.  Cook to your desired tenderness.  I like mine tender crisp (still with a little crunch).  Once cooked, set aside and get your wok ready to stir fry.

 **make your sauce and cut your chicken while you steam your broccoli.

Cut your boneless, skinless chicken into bite size pieces.  Then lightly dust in a mixture of cornstarch, salt and pepper. 

Use about 1Tbs of oil per one pound batch of chicken.  I first heated 1Tbs of oil and put in 1lb of of the coated chicken to fry (remember to shake off excess coating).  I then pushed the browned pieces to the side and added another 1Tbs of oil and proceeded to fry the next pound of  chicken.  Repeat the same method for the 3rd pound.

Once the chicken is browned well and almost cooked, add your ginger, garlic and dried chilies (or flakes).  Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Now add your prepared sauce.  Cook until the sauce starts to thicken up and coat the chicken.

Finally add your partially steamed broccoli and drained water chestnuts.  Stir well the chicken and sauce.  Taste for seasoning.  If you desire more salt, add soy sauce. If you desire more sweetness add some more honey.

Serve with rice and enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.