Saturday, May 21, 2016

General Tso’s Chicken again? Yes, cuz this time I’m doing it right

frozenandscratch

 

Around a year ago, I did a post titled ‘General Tso’s Chicken in a Bag’ (you can click here to read it).  My sister berated me when she saw it:  you did a cooking blog about a frozen skillet meal??  I responded it wasn’t a cooking post, but a Food Review—for single guys like me, who don’t do a lot of cooking!  Still… I knew she was right.

Hell, it wasn’t even that great.  (The frozen chicken niblets included in the bag weighed all of 1 ounce, and were the size of fingernails.  Fingernails!)  I made a promise to myself that someday I’d cook this dish from scratch & redeem myself.

So a couple weeks ago, when my friend Corinne posted a recipe for General Tso’s Chicken on Facebook I KNEW IT WAS TIME.  I actually didn’t follow it word for word, I omitted the Homasin sauce, used lemon juice instead of lime, Hot Chili Oil instead of red pepper flakes & doubled the sauce ingredients.  (I like my General Tso’s with SAUCE.)  So here we go!

ApacheDug’s General Tso’s Chicken

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Canola (or vegetable) oil, chicken broth, onion, soy sauce, 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, Hot Chili Oil (or red pepper flakes), minced garlic, lime (or lemon) juice, honey, broccoli florets, sliced carrots, flour, cornstarch—and don’t forget the rice Smile

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I cut up 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into one inch cubes, dredged them in corn starch, shook ‘em off, dredged again in flour then sprinkled on a little salt & pepper and sizzled them in a pan with 1/2 inch of canola oil for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

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Draining the first batch of chicken on a paper towel… I think a taste-test is in order…

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The original recipe says to drain the pan, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil & some red pepper flakes.  I DIDN’T DO THAT.  I drained, then added 3 tablespoons of Hot Chili Oil, let it sizzle, then stirred in 3 cloves of minced garlic and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until you can really smell that garlic.

Next I stirred in: 1 cup chicken broth, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 6 tablespoons soy sauce & 6 tablespoons honey. I let that simmer for 10 minutes. It looks like hellfire in there!

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Now you have to thicken the sauce; blend 3 tablespoons of corn starch to 3 tablespoons of cold water, slowly pour the milky liquid into the pot, stirring all the while.

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(Meanwhile in a separate pot, I cooked 1 cup rice with 2 cups water for 15-20 minutes, it looks like it’s done.) 

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Back to the big pot—now that my sauce has thickened, I stirred in 2 cups sliced carrots, 2 cups broccoli florets & one onion, quartered.  (The original recipe doesn’t call for the onion, but I’m telling you—it makes all the difference!)

I cover & let cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the cooked chicken pieces, mix it up & let it heat thru for another 3-4 minutes.

Put down a nice bed of rice on your plate, spoon the mixture on top.  You’ve got some real General Tso’s Chicken from scratch!

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Bon Appetit!

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