Monday, April 27, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

As promised I bring you General Tso's!  :)   This is one of Mr. Sherry Berry's favorite dishes, so I thought I'd attempt to make it at home, instead of getting PF Changs take out (I'm joking...kinda.)    Soooo... without further adieu, let's get started-

What you'll need:

  • 1 packet (1 - 1/4 oz.) Sunbird General Tso's seasoning (found in the Asian section of your supermarket.)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 lb chicken breast chunks or boneless chicken thigh chunks.
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used Canola)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you may use raw sugar or Splenda as substitute)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce ( I used low sodium version)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Fresh vegetables of your choice.  I used carrots and broccoli, since that's what I had on hand in the crisper :)
  • 1 cup of rice (I used Mahatma Whole Grain rice)


Bring 2 cups of water in a saucepan  to a rolling boil.  Add rice and stir.  Turn heat to low temperature, cover, and let rice cook. 

Whisk water, soy sauce,  sugar and seasoning packet together in a bowl  (or in my case, a Pyrex measuring cup) and set aside for later.

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Coat chicken chunks evenly with flour.  You may use a ziplock bag or bowl (as I did).

When oil is hot in frying pan, carefully place chicken in oil.  
Make sure all pieces are touching the bottom of pan, to insure they brown evenly.

Cut fresh vegetables and rinse them in a collander. Set aside.

Pour sauce mixture in a saucepan and heat on medium until it heats all the way through.  
It may be slightly thicker when heated, due to the sugar added. Once heated, set aside.

Brown chicken on both sides.

Next, add fresh veggies, and cover with lid.  (You may choose to steam your veggies or pan fry them in a 
separate pan.  I chose to cook them this way so that I would have one less pan to clean afterward.)  Let them cook for about five minutes or until slightly tender.

Check your rice;  It should be flurfy by now :)  Flurfy (fluffy)... I just made up that word.

Remove veggies from pan.  Set aside.
Pour sauce over chicken.  Mix well until chicken is fully coated.

And Voila!!! You're all done!  So easy...and now for the taste test:

Another hit!  He likes it!  (So much that he didn't notice the rice he spilled on his tshirt...)
I liked it too;  Very yummy.  I would say the sauce has a slight sweet /garlic-y taste.
I would definately prepare this dish again.  

**Side note:  I actually doubled the recipe because I used a pound and a half of chicken chunks, so that we could have more leftovers for dinner the next day.  If you do this, use 2 packets of seasoning  and double the sugar, water, and soy sauce.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Asian Stir Fry with Chicken

The hubby and I were in need of some major veggie intake. I thought of going to Pei Wei to pick up some take out, but I figured we could save money buy making our own Asian dish. I came up with the idea of doing a stir fry; Hubby liked the idea. So, I picked up a pack of chicken breast tenders and some fresh veggies - a broccoli crown head and two carrots. Then, I came across the section with asian seasonings, and picked up a NOH Asian stir fry seasoning packet. I had onions, bellpeppers and rice at home already.

*I used half the package of chicken breast tenders (approx. 8 tenders) , but feel free to use more if you'd like.

1. Rinse chicken tenders, and place in a skillet. I used a frying pan with three inch sides.
2. Season chicken with a sprinke of paprika and garlic powder and a dash of salt. Cook for ten minutes on a medium high heat on both sides.
3. Add a half cup of water, and simmer chicken on low heat, covered for another ten minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare your water for your rice and cut veggies:
  • In a sauce pan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water and a dash of salt to a rolling boil. After water starts boiling, add 3/4 cup of rice. I used Mahatma Whole Grain rice. Simmer covered on low heat for approximately 12-15 minutes.
  • Julienne one bellpper.
  • Coarsely chop a half of onion.
  • Cut off the stem of the brocolli and break or cut the individual heads off.
  • Use a potato peeler to remove outter skin from carrot (I used one carrot, but again, you may use more if you'd like.) Cut the ends of the carrot off, and proceed to shave the carrot in short strokes until all the carrot is complete. {Note: I shave my carrots for a stir fry because it takes less time to cook. You may prepare your carrots any way you like.) It's easier to shave if you cut the carrot in half.
  • Please all veggies in collander, mix and rinse with water.

5. Chicken breast should be tender and moist at this point. Break up chicken into bite-sized pieces with a spatula or fork. Prepare seasoning packet according to instructions (You just have to add water and whisk in the powder in the packet.) Add all veggies to chicken in the skillet and increase heat to medium temperature. Pour in sauce mixture.

Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until the veggies are tender enough to stick a fork through, but still firm and bright colored.

6. Check rice to make sure it's fluffy and no water remains in saucepan. If there is still water in the pan, replace cover and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Serve stir-fry over rice in a bowl. Add salt/pepper or low-sodium soy sauce to taste if needed. Yummy, quick and healthy.

**I also purchased a General Tso's seasoning packet as well. I'll let you all know how it comes out!