Like many of you, my favorite Chinese take out dish is General Tsao’s Chicken. I’m also a big fan of chow mein, fried rice, beef and broccoli, and egg rolls. But I don’t think I’ve ordered Chinese take out without getting some form of General Tsao’s Chicken. There’s just something about that crispy breaded chicken slathered in that sweet and tangy, sometimes spicy suace that gets my taste buds going.
Now, I’m pretty sure that even though it is a “Chinese” dish, I’m almost positive that they don’t have General Tsao’s Chicken in China. It’s one of those dishes that is totally Americanized, but we like to pretend that we’re actually eating Chinese food.
I was watching a segment on TV one time where these journalists were walking around some of the busiest cities in China handing out fortune cookies asking the locals if they knew what it was. Almost 100% of the people they talked to had no clue what a fortune cookie was, and the ones that actually took a bite were shocked to find a piece of paper inside the cookie. If that doesn’t give you a clue as to where our “Chinese Food” actually originated, I don’t know what does.
Ok enough rambling. Now that I’ve completely gone off on a tangent, how about a delicious new recipe to add to your repertoire? Can you guess what that recipe is? That’s right!!!! General Tsao’s Chicken! Did the title give it away?
Here’s what you’ll need: (serves 2)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp sherry
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
- 1 cup green or red bell pepper (chopped)
- peanut oil, enough to coat the pan (I didn’t have this so I used olive oil)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup General Tsao’s sauce (found in the international foods aisle at your grocery store)
Chop bell pepper into thick strips (about an inch thick).
Then turn the pepper to the side and chop again into bite sized pieces. (Steve took this picture for me so I could use both hands…..how nice of him!)
Here’s a nice little pile of chopped bell pepper. This Christmas, Steve gave me a new WONDERFUL lens for my camera, as well as a tripod, so my pictures are turning out clearer than ever! Thanks, Baby!
Next, chop up some broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
Chop your chicken into……you guessed it…..bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl, add the sherry, and mix around with your fingers so that each piece of chicken is coated in the sherry. Let sit for 15 minutes. (You could do this step first so the chicken can marinate while you’re chopping your veggies, but I was waiting for my chicken to defrost, so that is why I waited until now).
Add cornstarch to a plate.
Once the chicken has finished marinating, add to the cornstarch and toss to coat. Make sure every piece is completely covered and there are no wet spots. You may want to scoop the chicken out of the bowl by hand instead of just dumping it onto the plate. It will probably help keep the wetness to a minimum.
Add your cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add your chicken in a single layer to the hot oil.
Make sure you turn chicken periodically during cooking so that all sides get browned. Once chicken is golden brown, remove and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Add broccoli and peppers to the hot skillet and let cook for about a minute or so. If you like your broccoli a little softer and not so crunchy, you can boil it for a few minutes prior to adding it to the skillet.
Add chicken back to the pan.
This is the General Tsao’s sauce that I picked up at the grocery store. It was really tasty! I had a recipe to make the sauce from scratch, but I couldn’t find one of the ingredients, so I decided to take the easier route and use the pre-made stuff instead of chancing that the absence of this one ingredient would completely ruin the sauce.
Add about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the sauce to the chicken and veggies and stir to coat completely.
Doesn’t that just look divine!!!? By the way….this is not a low calorie meal. So just keep that in mind. 😉
Add chicken and veggies to a bowl on top of a fluffy bed of white rice. The crispiness of the chicken really added great texture to the dish! It is definitely a repeater meal in our house! Enjoy!