Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lighter General Tso's Chicken

I'm trying very hard to broaden our menu to include more Asian dishes, especially ones that my husband is fond of. This one from here seemed like a very basic and simple starter recipe for amateurs like see, quite a few years ago, I attempted stir fry with a sauce that had cornstarch in it, (like so many do) and somehow, it was a completely horrid disaster with the veggies turning out overly soggy, the sauce had not blended well leaving white chunks of cornstarch in it, and well, the meat was just a sad story on its own.

It was scary to eat, scary to look at it, and essentially forced me to shun away from any stir fry dishes forever...

...and ever since as you can imagine, I've been a bit on the reluctant side to do anything Chinese-food related.

But, like I say, with my goal of expanding our menu flavors, this easy beginner recipe was a success: flavorful and uncomplicated. My only complaint was that we didn't have enough sauce to douse our rice in, so I'd for sure triple it up next time around. I am NOT a plain rice eater, nor is my husband. We like it extra soaked!

Other than that, this beats paying 8 bucks at Pei Wei.

Well, maybe... you still get unlimited fortune cookies at PW.. debatable I guess.


General Tso's Chicken, Lighter Version


1 1/4 cups long-grain brown rice

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled

3 tablespoons light-brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 large egg whites

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth*. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).

Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with rice.

*If you want more sauce for the rice, double the recipe.

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