Saturday, July 30, 2011

KITCHEN KREATION: General Tso's Chicken

Family, I'm back! Tonight I decided to try my hand at making Chinese at home again. Hubby's favorite dish whenever we go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant is General Tso's Chicken. As a matter of fact, the decision as to whether we will be back or not is primarily based on if the restaurant has a good General Tso's. It has to combine the exact right amount of sweet and spicy in order to score my hubby's affection. If the General Tso's is not up to par, there is a good chance that we will never be back.

The problem with the General Tso's that is sold in the restaurant is that it is battered and deep fried then smothered with a sweet sauce. There might be 2 or 3 broccoli sprigs thrown on just to say that there are vegetables on the plate. The caloric intake of a plate of General Tso's tends to average around 1300 calories with a staggering 3200 mg of sodium! Since hubby is being dragged along in my attempts to make us both healthier, I decided to make his favorite dish at home with my own little spin on it.

To start off, there was no batter anywhere near my chicken. It was also pan fried with about a tablespoon of oil versus being deep fried in oil. I also did not use any MSG and used low sodium sauces as much as possible. Hopefully my version is at least a little healthier. We'll find out when I calculate everything on SparkPeople. Hope you enjoy my healthier version!

2-3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken
12 ounce bag of frozen broccoli
½ onion – sliced thinly
1 clove garlic – minced
½ tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp corn starch
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil (stir fry oil)
2 Tbsp cooking sherry
1.5 tsp hot chili garlic sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch

  1. Make sauce by adding chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, cooking sherry, hot chili garlic sauce, and hoisin sauce to bowl. Stir well until rice has dissolved.
  2. Rinse chicken well. Cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces.
  3. Pour in ¼ cup soy sauce & 2 Tbsp corn starch. Mix well and marinate for 5 minutes.
  4. While meat is marinating, prepare vegetables. Thinly slice ½ yellow onion.
  5. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in hot wok. Add chicken and sauté until browned. Remove from wok and let drain on plate with paper towels.
  6. Add another Tbsp of vegetable oil to wok. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute until tender and fragrant.
  7. Add chicken to wok and stir well to incorporate flavors.
  8. Make thickener slurry by mixing 2 Tbsp cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Should just have enough water to dissolve the cornstarch. Stir well until dissolved and add to sauce.
  9. Stir sauce well and add to hot wok.
  10. Bring chicken and sauce mixture to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
  11. Serve with rice and enjoy!
This just in, according to SparkPeople, for six servings, my version only has 301 calories and 1404 mg sodium. That's a big improvement from the numbers in the restaurant, but I will have to tweak this a little more to get the sodium levels down lower. May omit the dark soy sauce next time and the soy sauce used to marinate the chicken. I think next time I will just coat the chicken in the corn starch and saute it up that way. Will keep you posted.

I checked again and if the soy sauce used to marinate the chicken and the dark soy sauce is omitted, the sodium levels drop down to 799 mg. I think I can live with that...

Hubby gave this one two thumbs up and said that if I keep this up, I'm gonna give the local restaurants a run for their money. LOL!!!

1 comment:

anthony stemke said...

This dish is a great Kitchen Kreation, Kesha.

And there are low salt soy sauces out there for sure. Good on ya.

Thank you.

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