Healthy General Tso’s Chicken

I find Chinese cuisine is a fun and tasty way to introduce new flavors to children and expand their repertoire of foods they might not normally eat. General Tso’s Chicken is a popular American created Chinese dish served in many Chinese restaurants. In most cases, it is deep-fried which gives it that succulent and tasty flavor but I have been inspired to make everything we eat healthier. So, I was excited to find this dish reinvented by Ching-He Huang. Her recipe doesn’t call for extra vegetables, but I found that with the addition of red bell pepper and onions it gives the dish a sweeter and more delicate taste. Our family is crazy about heat so I have added chili’s to spice things up, but they are not necessary if that will not work for your family. Without them the sauce is sweet and tangy.

Recipe adapted from Ching-He Huang

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch piece
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

for the sweet sauce

  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili pepper sauce – found in Asian grocery stores
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce

for the stir-fry

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, left whole and crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 4 whole dried Sichuan chilies
  •  2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup peanuts, toasted and chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the chicken: In a large bowl, sprinkle the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  2. For the sweet sauce: In another bowl, add the stock, chili sauce, ketchup, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and dark soy sauce together and set aside.
  3. For the stir-fry: Heat a wok over high heat and when the wok starts to smoke, add the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, bell pepper and onion. Toss for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables soften. Remove and set aside. Add chicken pieces and let the chicken settle in the wok for 1 minute before stir-frying for another 2 minutes. As the chicken starts to turn opaque, add the rice wine and dried chilies and fry for a few seconds. Then add the sweet sauce and vegetables. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Cook the chicken in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced, is slightly sticky and has a thicker consistency, another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and peanuts and cook for less than 1 minute.
  5. Serve with rice.

 

© 2013, Nicole. All rights reserved.

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