Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fantabulous Food! General Tso's Chicken with Sticky Sweet Rice

Well, I had a sudden hankering for some Chinese food, but my husband and I are trying to spend less so I decided I would make some at my house instead of ordering in :) I have made many of the Wan-Chai Ferry meals in the last year or so and that is what taught me to use corn starch as a breading. The rest is kind of my own innovation and some sauce from Aldi (currently one of the 'while supplies last' special buys for only $1.69 per bottle!)

General Tso's Chicken with Sticky Sweet Rice

  • Raw Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
  • Minced Garlic
  • Red Peppers, thinly sliced
  • Minced Onion
  • Five Spice Powder
  • Corn Starch
  • Oil (olive, sesame, safflower, etc)
  • General Tso's Sauce
  • Rice
  • Honey
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
1. First, get your rice cooking according to your package instructions. I prefer jasmine rice, but you could really use any type of rice.
2. Combine about 1/4 cup of corn starch, 1/4 tsp of Five Spice Powder, and some salt in a bowl with a tight sealing lid.
Place your chunks of chicken in the cornstarch, seal the lid, and shake until chicken pieces are all well coated.
2. Next, heat your pan to medium-high and put about 2 tbsp of oil in it. Swirl your pan to coat, then add pepper slices, minced garlic and minced onion (you can use fresh onion slices if you prefer). COok for about 5 minutes until peppers are soft.
3. Now add a little more oil if you need it and put your coated chicken chunks in the pan. Stir occasionally and cook chicken on medium heat until cooked through.
4. While your chicken is cooking, in a small bowl combine 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar for every cup of rice you are making (go by your rice volume after it is cooked not when it's dry). For mine, I did 3 tbsp of each for 3 cups of rice. Stir the mixture until the honey is dissolved in the vinegar.
5. When your chicken is fully cooked, add sauce as per the bottle's instructions. My bottle said to use 1/2 cup of sauce for every pound of chicken. Mix the chicken in the sauce over medium heat until all chicken is evenly coated. Set aside until rice is finished and warm up before serving if need be.
6. Once your rice is fully cooked, pour your honey and vinegar mixture over the top and mix it in evenly. Cover your rice again and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes to soak up the additional juices. Serve warm with chicken over rice.
And that's it! It all took about 25 minutes and that was only because the rice needed 20 minutes to cook. Honestly, I was skeptical of the bottled sauce, but it was really good. My husband kept telling me how much he liked it :) The best thing about this type of recipe is that you can really use any type of sauce: sweet and sour, orange, ginger, sesame, bourbon, etc. They make Asian style sauces in all types of flavors and you can buy them bottled all ready to use! This was a quick and easy meal, it tasted great, it was inexpensive, and it was much healthier than if we had succumbed to Panda Express :)

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