Wednesday, April 1, 2015

General Tso’s chicken in a bag: well, there’s a first time for everything



Last week at the market, I took a peek in the ‘Frozen Foods Chest’ (an open-top floor freezer of odds n’ ends) and saw a selection of  “Gourmet Dining Meals”.  Blecch!  I normally hate skillet meals and avoid ‘em like the plague—they’re overpriced and gross. 

But these got my interest as they were Asian Cuisine, 28 oz in size and only $3.99 each.  Orange chicken?  Shrimp fried rice?  General Tso’s chicken?   I’ve had a real hankering for some Chinese food lately, especially since quitting my job downtown where Chinese was almost a weekly lunch thing.

Still… not a fan of skillet meals.  So I decided to wait until I got home and google some reviews.  (There’s always some food shopper critic out there who’s ready to tell it like it is.)   So imagine my surprise when I got home, searched the label, and aside from this page of their products (click here)  I couldn’t find a single review.   I WAS ON MY OWN.

So earlier today when I went food-shopping again, I shrugged my shoulders and threw a bag in the cart.  I thought I’d do a running commentary as I cook it up!

My Review:  Gourmet Dining Meals’ General Tso’s Chicken


Ingredients in bag:

Small package of white chicken bits (it’s pretty spare)

Larger package of rice & vegetables, frozen rock solid

Pack of frozen ‘Gourmet Chili Garlic Sauce’

1. Here’s the UNOPENED frozen sauce packet I immersed in a measuring cup of hot water to warm.  The instructions warn not to microwave!  Just drop it in that water and let it thaw.


2.  The precooked chicken nibbles, added a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and  sauté for about 3-4 minutes. 


3.  Adding in the frozen rice & vegetables.  This stuff was hard as a rock, I had to hammer on it a few times and STILL had a snowball-sized chunk in the pan.  The instructions say to add a tablespoon of water, but I’m a rebel and used 2.  COVER & let it cook on LOW heat for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.


4.  Here’s how it looks after 8-9 minutes.  A nice surprise, the rice plumped up really nicely and the vegetables are tender but not mushy.  It smells good enough to eat now!


5.  Time to snip a corner off that warmed sauce packet, and drizzle it over things.  I did it in a nice swirly pattern just for show.  Stir it up a bit, COVER & let it heat thru for 1-2 minutes. 


6.  TA-DA!!  It’s ready to eat.  I must confess when I removed the lid & the aroma hit me, I ate a couple forkfuls right outta the pan.  This may not be downtown Chinese, but it comes close.  THIS IS GOOD STUFF.


A little more chicken would’ve been nice, but there’s so much food here, I didn’t miss it.  The chicken, rice & vegetables are just right, and the sauce is excellent.  Will I buy this again?  You bet!

FYI—this isn’t an April Fools joke.  My sister Shawn asked me if I planned to review toaster strudel next!  I’m a single man who’s not exactly a great cook, so (for me, at least) this was a nice surprise.  And you can’t beat that price, $3.99!




  1. seems a tad odd to see your food with colours in it, Doug

    1. Haha!! Andrew I know I eat a lot of red meat, I'm tryin' to mix it up a bit :)


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