General Tso’s Chicken

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have your favorite foods.  My husband LOVES Chinese food.  I’m not such a fan- God knows what the ingredients are… and don’t you think it’s weird that you’re full one minute, then the next you can go back and eat what’s left in your takeout container?  Some kind of magic going on there that I don’t want to be messing with.

This recipe is pretty labor-intensive.  It’s definitely better if you have a partner around to help you out.  As you can see in the picture above, I whipped up some fried rice and steamed broccoli as sides.  I don’t eat a lot of rice, but I had some sticky rice in the pantry I had to use.

I got this recipe from “Paleo Takeout: Restaurant favorites without the junk” by Russ Crandall.  It’s one of my favorite cookbooks I own right now, but most of his recipes take a lot of work, so be warned.  I swapped out some of his ingredients for ones that I have usually in my house that I’ve used in this recipe (like who has Chinese cooking wine??).  I also find it’s hard to find the Chinese red chile peppers in the grocery store- sometimes I leave them out and then it’s more of a chicken nugget with sauce, but it’s still good!


General Tso’s Chicken

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-6 dried Chinese (Sichuan) red chile peppers (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Slurry:

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or tapioca or potato starch)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Nuggets:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Instructions:

  • In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients.  Bring them to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low as you prepare the rest of the meal- stir occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, stir together slurry ingredients and set aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  In a skillet (or wok, if you have one), warm the coconut oil over medium heat.  Combine the tapioca starch, salt and pepper, then toss the chicken in and cover.  With your fingers, dip a piece of chicken into the beaten eggs, shake off excess, then add to the hot oil.  Repeat until you’ve filled the whole skillet, but don’t overcrowd the pieces.  Fry the chicken until it’s cooked through, flipping about every 2 minutes.  You’ll have to do multiple batches.  It’s best if you set up a station on your countertop.  Place the cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towels to dry- you can put them in the oven to keep them warm, but I’ve never found the need to do this.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, finish the sauce.  Taste the sauce and flavor to your liking- adding more chicken broth to lighten it up or salt and pepper as needed.  Raise the sauce temperature until it’s bubbling, then pour in half the slurry and stir until thickened, adding more slurry as needed.  Remove from the heat and toss the chicken pieces with the sauce.

 

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