General Tso’s Chicken

I can’t remember without doing a search, which I probably should have done, whether or not I have made a General Tso’s Chicken for my blog yet.  It’s possible I have, but that’s what makes trying new recipes so great.  Each type of dish has MANY versions out there for you try, and you never know if another could be better than the one you’ve already had.  This particular version was actually named Paleo General Tso’s Chicken, but being that I don’t follow the paleo diet nor do I really understand it, I didn’t choose the paleo options and therefor didn’t think it necessary to name it as such on my blog.  I will, instead, include those options below for you to decide upon.

Now to talk about the dish… that old saying “it packs a wallop!” comes to mind.  Admittedly my tolerance is probably not the highest to begin with, but with 2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes there is some serious heat to this dish.  But a little spice in your life can be a good thing!  It can certainly clear those nasal passages for you!  Once you get beyond the heat it’s really quite pleasant though.  I liked the subtle flavor of the orange juice in there, mixed with the soy sauce.  And I really enjoyed the tender crisp broccoli and the rice which help to balance out the flavors and heat perfectly.

This is a really simple dish to prepare, as are most Asian dishes, as long as you do the prep-work ahead of time.  I was a little bit unsure about the timing of the cooking process since the directions say to make the rice early on, and to plate with the broccoli before starting the sauce.  It seems to me that reducing/thickening sauces takes a bit of time, so I didn’t like the idea of my rice and broccoli getting cold before the rest was ready (especially considering all our food is somewhat cold by the time we eat since I stop to take pictures).  So I just tried to get things done closer together to keep them at the ideal temp when plating.  I started my rice while I was doing the broccoli.  I also moved the broccoli to a bowl where it stayed pretty warm until everything else was ready and I plated it all at the end.  Just a simple change, but one that makes a difference.

 

General Tso’s Chicken

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb. chicken tenderloins, cubed (I use breast pretty much always)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 T. soy sauce (Paleo option to use coconut aminos)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • prepared rice (see note above) (Paleo option to use cauliflower rice)

Directions :

  1. Preheat pan to medium.
  2. Add oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Swirl to combine.
  3. Add cubed chicken and onions and cook through, taking care to never let the heat get above medium or your pepper flakes and garlic will scorch.
  4. Remove from pan.
  5. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water.  Place lid on pan and cook until broccoli is tender crisp.  Start your rice cooking at this point (that is if you are using quick rice like me… otherwise you may want to start even earlier)  Remove broccoli to a bowl.
  6. Return chicken to pan.  Add orange juice, soy sauce, and half the green onions.  Cook down until sauce begins to thicken.
  7. Remove from heat and assemble bowls rice first, then broccoli, and topped with chicken and sauce mixture.  Sprinkle remaining onions on top.

Recipe adapted from Katrina Runs For Food

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