How should I serve my my dinner? Baked chicken instead of fried ? Low calorie dinner instead of high? Should I save my Weight Watchers points or spend it?These are suppose to be easy choices but how come they are not? Is it because there is a stigma that when it is healthy food, it is suppose to taste bad? Well, with this healthy version of Chinese take out, particularly General Tso’s, you should not be afraid that this is not deeeeee – lish, because it is ; plus, it is lesser in calories and you can save your Weight Watchers points in order to eat the other foods you crave.
Cravings. This is what happens to me when I see something Chinese-sy. When I see a soy sauce, I crave Chinese food. When I see a chop stick, I brace myself and eat Chinese food. Then today, I saw a beer. Surprisingly, I am craving for General Tso’s Chinese take out. I am not sure what is the connection between beer and General Tso’s , but that is how my cravings work – they occur in a very unexpected way.
So today, I am going to share with you General Tso’s Chinese food. Actually, this easy recipe is suppose to be deep fried, but then, if I deep fry it and follow the original instruction, it has huge calorie difference. I mean really HUUUUUUUGGE… as in BIG ! If I deep fry it, it is 1,500 calories per serving but if I bake it, it is only 400 + calories as you can see on the nutritional facts below. I want to keep and save my Weight Watchers points so I decided the “road less trvelled” and made my own version of this easy dinner. This way, I can eat more of the things that I want…
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 cup (7 pieces of chicken) • Old Points: 11• Points+: 12•
Calories : 487• Fat: 17.1• Protein: 40.6 g • Carb: 40.3 g • Fiber: 2.3g • Sugar: 4.9g •
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup white wine vinegar ( distilled vinegar will work too)
1/8 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
FOR THE CHICKEN:
1 1/2 lbs chicken
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Cooking spray ( to spray the chicken before baking)
4 tbsp sesame oil ( you can use the canola or any oil you have )
5 pieces dried red chili pepper
1" crushed ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Prepare a wide baking sheet and line it with tin foil. Set aside. Preheat oven at 475 F.
Scramble the egg in a deep bowl and add in the 1/4 cup corn starch. Mix completely until smooth, then add in the chicken. Mix to coat the egg and cornstarch into the chicken.Place the Panko crumbs into a flat plate. Drain the cornstarch and egg mixture from the chicken and roll the chicken into the Panko crumbs pressing gently so that the crumbs will stick on the chicken. Arrange chicken on the baking sheet. Do the same to the rest of the chicken.Spray the chicken with an oil spray and bake chicken into a preheated oven.Bake until the chicken is golden brown. When the chicken are cook, you can move on to the next step.
In a medium sized deep bowl, mix the chicken stock, wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, Hoisin Sauce and corn starch . Set aside.
Prepare a large skillet or wok and heat the sesame oil. Add in and saute' the ginger and garlic, then add in the 5 pieces dried red chili pepper. Add in the cooked chicken stir fry, to gently coat the ginger, garlic and pepper into the chicken. Pour in the sauce and add in the red pepper flakes. Very gently coat the sauce into the chicken and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and simmering.
This recipe is perfect when serve hot, since the sauce tends to get dry. If it does happen, just add in a little bit of water and mix and you are good to go.
The panko bread crumbs will absorb the sauce so, it will ran out of juice if you do not serve it immediately. I like it this way though, so I am sticking with the recipe. If, however you want it to have more sauce, just add water when you heat it up, add salt according to your liking and then very gently mix the chicken. Add more red pepper flake if you want it extra spicy.