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View Full Version : My Version of Light General Tso's Chicken



ReneeV
02-12-2003, 12:05 PM
Well, here it is. I haven't tried it yet. I'm just composing it based on some of the idea's you guys have given me and some of the tips I found in the Betty Crocker Chinese Low-Fat Cooking cookbook.

General Tso's Redux

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
1 egg white
1 t water
1/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 t ground red pepper

Mix egg white and water in a medium bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Remove chicken from egg nixture; dicard egg mixture. Mix flour, baking soda and red pepper in plastic bag. Add chicken a few pieces at a time. Seal bag and shake to coat chicken. Place chicken on a cookie sheet; spray with cooking spray about 5 seconds or until surface of chicken appears moist.

Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is golden and crisp.

This sauce recipe from the Low-Fat Chinese Cooking book looked very similar to the sauce ingredients in Lauren's recipe, except a little less sugar, the fresh chiles and garlic are replaced with garlic chile paste.

While chicken is cooking:

Sichuan Sauce:
1/4 c chicken broth
1 T Hoisin sauce
1 T garlic chile puree
2 t seasoned rice vinegar
1 t grated gingerroot
1 t dry sherry.

1/4 c of finely sliced scallion.
1 t canola oil.

Combine above ingredients, except for scallions.

Spray wok or large nonstick sauté pan with cooking spray. Heat over med high heat until pan is very hot. Add 1 t of canola oil. Swirl to coat pan. Add scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the combined sauce ingredients and cook until the chicken cubes are completely coated with the sauce, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a heated serving dish.

Serves 4-6.

Since I'm at work and typing this on my lunch hour, I don't have access to Mastercook, so I don't have the nutritional analysis.

AS I said I just made this up right now, so I don't know how close it comes to true General Tso's. Let me know if you like it. If the chicken isn't crisp enough, you can always try using the Sweet and Sour coating with the cracker crumbs, instead of the one above.

Renée

VictoriaL
02-12-2003, 02:14 PM
I never thought of baking the chicken instead of deep-frying it (and doesn't the restaurant version use dark-meat chicken? I prefer the white, too...). DH will be so happy when I make this. He loves Chinese food and hasn't eaten General Tso's chicken in several years because of the deep frying-thing. THANKS, Renee!!! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Gracie
02-13-2003, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by ReneeV
If the chicken isn't crisp enough, you can always try using the Sweet and Sour coating with the cracker crumbs, instead of the one above.

Renee - this looks good! What do you by the above quoted piece? What is the Sweet and Sour coating?

Thanks!

Loren

ReneeV
02-13-2003, 08:07 AM
Hi Loren,

I was refering to the Sweet and Sour chicken coating recipe from the original thread about the LF Chinese Cookbook. Here it is again:

Here are the directions for coating the meat or chicken:

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 egg white
1t water
2 T flour
2 T crushed rice crackers
1/4 t baking soda

Mix egg white and water; toss with chicken in med. glass or plastic bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Mix flour, crushed crackers and baking soda in a medium bowl. Remove chicken from egg mixture; dip into flour/cracker mixture, turning to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet; spray with cooking spray about 10 seconds or until surface appears moist. Bake 10-15 minutes, turning once, until brown and no longer pink in center.

These were the directions for preparing the chicken for the Sweet and Sour chicken recipe.
The coating I provided in my light recipe is more like the traditional General Tso batter, however because it's not fried, this coating may be a bit crisper. Either one would probably work ok.

Renée

R.

Gracie
02-13-2003, 08:15 AM
I get it now. I thought there was a sweet and sour coating, not a coating from the sweet and sour recipe :rolleyes: ! DD would say "Duh!!" :D

I'll have to hunt down rice crackers (shouldn't be too tough) and give this a try.

Loren

valchemist
02-14-2003, 06:45 AM
Here is the nutritional info for Renee's recipe (the one without the rice crackers). I think I will give it a try! Thanks for posting. :)

assuming 4 servings

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 183 Calories; 3g Fat (14.8% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 516mg Sodium.

Dewey
02-15-2003, 06:50 PM
We just had the General Tsao's Redux tonight. It was very good, although I did make a few changes. First, we doubled the sauce part, because we always like a lot of sauce. I'm really glad we did, I might even increase it more next time. But next time, I will decrease the amount of chili garlic paste. I may have used a different kind than what was supposed to be used, but this was really spicy and we like things hot! The stuff I used was "chili garlic sauce" in a clear jar with a green lid and a rooster on it. It's got Viet-nam in the name, but I couldn't tell you the rest of the name without going upstairs. Anyway, that made it pretty spicy, so I'd cut that in half next time. I also added some honey at the end, since I like my General Tsao's Chicken to be sweet/spicy. I probably added about 4-5 Tablespoons (I just kept drizzling and tasting till I thought it tasted right.)

The chicken was very good, even though you could definitely tell it hadn't been deep fried. DH said, "this isn't as crispy crunchy as the stuff we get at the Chinese restaurant." When I told him that's because this wasn't deep fried, he wanted to know if there was some way we could get it more like deep fried.:rolleyes: I told him I didn't think so, not without drastically increasing the fat. Overall, a definite repeater as long as we cut down the chili garlic sauce next time.

valchemist
02-16-2003, 06:09 AM
thanks, Laurie! I was actually planning on doubling the sauce before I read your review. I am making this tonight and I will post a review later.

valchemist
02-16-2003, 07:26 PM
I thought this was excellent and quite easy. DH always orders General Tso's when we go out for Chinese food (I have never had it myself). He complimented the meal without my asking him, which means he really liked it. He said it was good and that it must have taken a long time to make (which it didn't!). When I asked him if it tasted like General Tso's, he said that it tasted similar, but it just wasn't as heavy.

The chicken was actually crispier than I thought it would be. It wasn't as crispy as deep fried (obviously), but it was crisp and it had a nice taste. I really like this way of oven baking it. The only thing I would do differently would be to have a shallow bowl with the flour mixture. I thought the bag was messy and it didn't coat the pieces as well as I would have liked. Oh, I used eggbeaters instead of an egg white.

I tripled the sauce but made a few adjustments (used 5 tbsp hoisin istead of 3 and used 1 tbsp garlic chile puree). the sauce turned out perfectly, in my opinion. Not burning hot, but nice and spicy -- we like hot foods. The sauce seemed thin at first, but after the stir frying was complete the sauce thickened up nicely after I removed the pan from the burner and let it sit a couple minutes. Here is what I ended up using for the sauce....

3/4 cup broth
5 tbsp hoisin
1 tbsp chile garlic sauce (taste of Thai brand)
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp sherry
1 heaping tbsp ginger, chopped (since it was chopped, not grated, I actually stir fried this with the green onions)

I thought all the changes I made worked perfectly and I won't change a thing next time I make it. And there will be a next time. Thanks, Renee!


Val

claire797
03-05-2003, 07:37 AM
I was planning on making this tonight, but now I see it calls for garlic chili puree. I don't have any and am wondering if there's a good substitute.

Also, did anyone omit the red pepper in the coating? I am afraid this may make it too spicy. Val, was it too spicy for you husband or was he okay with it?

I am so curious as to how this will turn out. Maybe I'll make a practice batch for Emma's lunch.

valchemist
03-05-2003, 07:58 AM
I used some taste of thai brand garlic chili pepper sauce. I don't know what a substitute would be but I am quite sure I have seen threads on this topic.

I did use the red pepper in the coating. DH likes spicy things, but he really can't tolerate things that are *too* spciy. I stuck with the 1/4 tsp amount and it was fine. Just right for him. I myself wouldn't have minded if it had been even hotter. But the level of spiciness was fine for me, too.

ReneeV
03-05-2003, 10:37 AM
Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I haven't tried it myself yet. Actually, I haven't been doing much cooking. I did end up breaking my ankle when I fell on Feb 16th and have been in a cast on crutches ever since!:o

I'm getting around a little better now and soon enough I'll be able to tackle something more complicated than sandwhiches or take out.;)

I really want to try the lightened recipe for Kung Po chicken. It's sounds very authentic and even includes peanuts.

Thanks for the heads up about the amount of sauce and the spiciness.
I love hot food, but I'll be careful about the chili paste. I don't want to be the only one at the table who can tolerate the heat.

Renée

claire797
03-05-2003, 11:20 AM
Rats. I won't be making this tonight. For some reason, my test batch of the baked chicken bits came out rubbery. The sauce sounds really good, but the texture of the chicken is just so off that I can't get past it. Maybe something is wrong with the chicken tenders? I don't know.

KValley
03-12-2003, 07:54 AM
Hot Dog! Renee, this is good stuff! (And I hope you are getting around more easily these days- I didn't realize until I read this thread that you had broken your ankle! :mad: )

I like the crispy, pre-sauce chicken almost as much as the sauced-added chicken. DH said it was like a high-brow Chicken McNuggets. THis is NOT what I wanted to hear, and he backtracked, saying that if people could eat this, they wouldn't WANT to eat Chicken McNuggets. :p

At any rate, he loved it, it was fun to make, I doubled the sauce, it thickened up just fine, right amount of sweet and hot, served over brown rice and steamed broccoli. That's all!

Two thumbs up from us- thanks (and I don't really even LIKE Chinese food :) ) Julie

claire797
03-12-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by KValley
Hot Dog! Renee, this is good stuff! (And I hope you are getting around more easily these days- I didn't realize until I read this thread that you had broken your ankle! :mad: )

I like the crispy, pre-sauce chicken almost as much as the sauced-added chicken. DH said it was like a high-brow Chicken McNuggets. THis is NOT what I wanted to hear, and he backtracked, saying that if people could eat this, they wouldn't WANT to eat Chicken McNuggets. :p

At any rate, he loved it, it was fun to make, I doubled the sauce, it thickened up just fine, right amount of sweet and hot, served over brown rice and steamed broccoli. That's all!

Two thumbs up from us- thanks (and I don't really even LIKE Chinese food :) ) Julie

I'm glad to hear how great your nuggets turned out. I am going to HAVE To try this again, as mine were completely inedible. I still don't know what I did wrong. I used Tyson tenderloins, cut them into chunks, dipped them in egg white. Coated them in flour and baked them for 15 minutes at 450. They came out rubbery and the whole house smelled bad. Still, we love chicken nuggets. What could have gone wrong???

claire797
03-12-2003, 11:14 AM
I tried making the chicken part again with different chicken. This time, the nuggets turned out pretty good! The outside is (obviously) a lot drier than a Chicken McNugget, but with a little seasoning, I think they could be served on their own.

One thing that happened to both batches of the chicken nuggets was that they were somewhat floury. That is, after 20 minutes in the oven, they still had some dusty white raw flour that somehow hadn't cooked in. Would this be a result of using too much flour, maybe? Should I have been less liberal with the flour while dredging?

Also, I figured out where the bad smell was coming from. It was the non-stick spray being heated at 450.

RD chef
03-12-2003, 11:54 AM
Anna, did you use the version with the crushed rice crackers? I was looking at the recipe in the version I printed out from this thread. I kept wondering how it would get "crunchy" as everyone described it, just from the flour, baking soda and Pam. I reread the thread and see that Renee had put in the wrong chicken coating originally. Just a thought...

claire797
03-12-2003, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by RD chef
Anna, did you use the version with the crushed rice crackers? I was looking at the recipe in the version I printed out from this thread. I kept wondering how it would get "crunchy" as everyone described it, just from the flour, baking soda and Pam. I reread the thread and see that Renee had put in the wrong chicken coating originally. Just a thought...

I used to original version with just flour, baking soda and Pam. The rice cracker version is probably better, but this original version would be good too so long as you coated it in sauce.

KValley
03-12-2003, 12:34 PM
Anna,

A couple of thoughts. I diced boneless, skinless chix breasts and didn't find the nuggets (okay, you've got me calling them that (double ouch on my grammar!) :o ) at all dry or conversely, rubbery. Perhaps the Tyson tenderloins were too processed?

I found that I didn't have enought flour coating (sorry that I didn't think to add this before!) so I put together some extra. Maybe a little longer with the cooking spray and the baking to nix the flour residue? To be sure, these don't have a "crust" like deep fried General Tso's would, but you can't expect that. Still, I had crispy little critters - more akin to a light tempura batter than a McNugget's sludge.

I'm a little confused about the recipe now, because this is not the thread where I found it- I printed it out some time ago and I'm certain I saw it elsewhere. On second glance I should clarify that I did NOT use the rice cracker version. I'd never even seen it before this thread.

Renee- am I understanding correctly that you put this recipe together? You really should submit it to CL. :)

claire797
03-12-2003, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by KValley
Anna,

A couple of thoughts. I diced boneless, skinless chix breasts and didn't find the nuggets (okay, you've got me calling them that (double ouch on my grammar!) :o ) at all dry or conversely, rubbery. Perhaps the Tyson tenderloins were too processed?



I think the problem was that 1)the Tyson Tenderloins were too processed and 2) 15 minutes was not long enough.

The second batch (which Emma is enjoying right now) is fine. For this batch, I just used a regular, unadulterated cup up chicken breast and cooked it for 20 minutes.

I think I probaby should have used (despite the nasty smell) a bit more of the cooking spray. This would have helped seal in the flour a bit so that the nuggets (sorry!) would be less dusty.

Now I suppose I should make this recipe with the actual sauce! I'm too stuck on the silly chicken nuggets ;).