General Tso’s Chicken

I love Chinese food. My first experience with it came in the late 80s/early 90s when a Chinese restaurant opened in a town that neighbored my hometown. Chinatown of London, Ky was probably the first Chinese food that many people in my our area ever tried. Maybe it’s because it was the first but no other Chinese restaurant has ever measured up to it. Sadly, it burned to the ground a few years ago and was never rebuilt.

My husband is more of a meat and potatoes man (hold the meat) so Chinese isn’t something that I eat a lot of these days. Thank goodness for a few friends that I can count on to hit our local buffet now and then. I have tried several Asian inspired recipes at home but few of them measure up. However, I found this one a few years ago in Men’s Health magazine and it’s quite good. It’s also lighter than traditional restaurant style Chinese food. The baking technique using cornstarch gives it the texture of fried chicken without the added fat.

The recipe calls for fresh ginger. I’m a huge fan of ginger but not a fan of peeling and grating it. Look for fresh ginger in a tube in the produce section with the fresh herbs.

General Tso’s Chicken with Broccoli

1 lb bonless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chili sauce, such as sriracha
4 cups steamed broccoli florets, for serving
Cooked brown rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 F. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the chicken chunks with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Spread the cubes out and bake until they’re cooked through, about 12 minutes. (NOTE: I sprayed the foil with Pam first).

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil, garlic and ginger on medium for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, honey, and sriracha; simmer 3 minutes. Whisk the remaining cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water; add that and heat until the mixture has thickened, about 30 seconds.

Add the cooked chicken to the pan with the sauce and toss together. Serve alongside the broccoli and over brown rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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