Thursday, October 13, 2011

Takeout Makeover: General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken is a popular Americanized Chinese take out dish that is super delicious and also super terrible for you. Battered and fried chunks of chicken thighs are tossed with a spicy and sweet sauce and usually served over white rice. I have always loved this tasty dish, but avoided it because of the high calorie, fat and sodium content. It seemed this was the perfect recipe for my next takeout makeover. Instead of deep frying dark meat, I baked some lean chicken breast and topped it with my own sauce, which is light on the sugar and sodium, while packing quite a spicy punch. I put this dish together in 20 minutes, so it's fast and easy for a weeknight. I apologize for the lack of step by step photos - my camera battery died while I was cooking this. The best part, one serving of this dish has only 236 calories! Pair it with some steamed broccoli and brown rice and you have a healthy and filling dinner.

Read more for the full recipe!

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
2 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch, divided
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp chili oil (or sesame oil)
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp tomato paste
scallions, sliced
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
optional: 1 tbsp dried thai chilies

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Toss chunks of chicken with 2 tbsp corn starch
3. On a cookie sheet, spread chicken chunks into a single layer
4. Bake chicken for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through
5. In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, ginger and chili oil, saute for 2 minutes
6. Add soy sauce, broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste and hoisin sauce
7. Simmer mixture on medium heat for 4-5 minutes
8. Dissolve 1 tsp of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water
9. Add cornstarch to sauce mixture, stirring
10. Continue to simmer sauce for another 3-4 minutes, until it begins to thicken
11. Toss cooked chicken with sauce, coating thoroughly
12. Serve chicken with 1 tbsp sesame seeds and scallions

Nutrition Info: makes 4 servings
236 calories
28g Protein
7g Fat

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At October 13, 2011 at 11:50 PM , Blogger Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Wow, excellent pictures! I want some of that in my belly right now!

At October 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM , Anonymous Kristina said...

This looks delicious *bookmarking*

At October 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - that looks unbelievably delicious! I'm a huge fan of General Tsos chicken...

At November 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Christine knapkins_com said...

Hi Dara, Your General Tso's Chicken recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: Congrats again!! :)

At November 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Blogger Julia said...

Oh wow, and the chicken is baked, not fried. Fantastic!!!! Can't wait to try it!

At January 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM , Blogger Allen Bates said...

Thank you for this recipe, I added some tofu and more Thai chili to make it more intense.
Koh lanta holiday

At January 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM , Blogger Dara said...

Allen - I am thrilled you enjoyed this. Thanks for making my recipe!

At January 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM , Blogger RachelM said...

Making this for the second time tonight; it's super delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

At February 12, 2012 at 8:54 PM , Blogger Emily said...

Just made this (subbed pan-fried tofu for the chicken and added carrots and broccoli). It's really good! In the future, I might cut down the tomato paste to 1–1.5 tbsp, as the tomato flavor came on a little strong and I had to add more soy sauce and honey to get the flavor I wanted.

Thanks for the great recipe! Waaaaay better than takeout, and much better for you. Well done!

At February 13, 2012 at 9:36 AM , Blogger Dara Reppucci said...

Emily: I am so happy you tried this recipe. I appreciate the feedback about the sauce, I will revisit my notes on the recipe. I just love greasy takeout so much I had to find a healthier way to enjoy it.

At March 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM , Blogger Sarah Anne Feller said...

Thank you for this recipe! I used gluten free soy sauce (tamari) and gluten free hoisin. DELICIOUS!

At March 31, 2012 at 9:50 PM , Blogger Dara Reppucci said...

Sarah - I am delighted you enjoyed the recipe!

At April 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM , Blogger JIZZLE said...

Yummy! I just made this using tofu instead of chicken. The sauce was great, so happy to find a relatively low-cal take-out fake-out!


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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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