Creating this take-out General Tso Chicken "at home" recipe came at the request of my dad. It is his favorite to order, but I thought I would clean it up and make it something the whole family can enjoy. Even my diabetic mother.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free and I thought I would remove the chicken breading so we could lose some calories, and carbs so it could still be enjoyed with a side of rice.
Cleaned-Up General Tso Chicken
I love to sometimes take a recipe and totally clean it up. Or at least that's what I call it when I reduce the calories and try to remove as many preservatives as possible. I figure that means I can enjoy more of it guilt-free.
Not that I count calories, that time has come and gone for me, but I try to give a little balance to some favorite recipes. Like I said above, my dad asked me to make this and I cleaned it up so my mom could enjoy it, even more!
I also substituted soy sauce for liquid aminos. This keeps the sauce gluten-free, but that is just a happy accident. This sauce also lowers the sodium levels, but I personally think it has a stronger salty flavor. So use it sparingly and taste and adjust as needed.
Preparing the Broccolini
Broccolini is a smaller, more tender version of broccoli. If you can't find it, do fret, just use regular broccoli instead and maybe cut it into steaks before cooking. I like the broccolini because it cooks a little quicker before I fry the chicken.
It also just takes a little bit of basic seasoning to make it delicious. A little salt and pepper are all you need and then I throw on a pinch of red pepper flakes to enhance the flavors that will be coming from the chicken. General Tso Chicken is known for being a spicy dish, that is another advantage to making it at home, you can control the heat
Once you clean the greens, just fry them up quickly in a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pan, when you turn them over, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper and they are good to go. I like cooking them quickly just till they brown a little bit so they keep a crunch to them.
Making the Sauce
The ingredient list may look a little daunting, but most of them are for the sauce. If you want to sub those ingredients for a premade sauce you love, feel free. This is just the place that you can ensure that the dish comes out gluten-free if you need that.
Many sauces will include soy sauce that has gluten in it, where I swapped that out for Coconut Aminos that is a gluten-free soy sauce substitute. You could also use liquid amnios if you have them, I personally prefer the coconut aminos. But that's just me.
If you have these little Asian chili's around or if you pick some up for this dish, USE THEM! I made this one KendellKreations style and used what I had in my kitchen. I stock a pretty good Asian pantry because I like to experiment with Asian flavors a lot.
I was out of those when I made this or I would have sauteed a few with the chicken when I cooked it. But red pepper flakes are a good fall back and no matter how much I use them the canister never seems to empty so I always have some laying around.
If you do use the chilis, heat the oil on low at the beginning and let them cook first. Allowing them to permeate the oil will give the whole dish a little extra spice. You could even throw them in before you cook the broccolini to give them some more flavor too!
Let's talk Rice!
Now I have shared in a few other posts about my love for Basmati Rice. When I did a little research I learned that all rice has a certain level or arsenic in it, but basmati has the least. I also love the way it cooks and how for the most part it doesn't cake up.
You want to give it a couple of rinses before cooking, but then add it and the water to a pot, bring to a boil for 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. It is done at this point and PERFECTLY cooked! So easy and so good, it is my favorite for this reason.
It is all I stock in my kitchen anymore. Go grab some and make this dish for your family this summer. I hope you enjoy it as much as mine does, Happy Cooking!