March 2, 2013

General Karra's Chicken, Broccoli and Mushrooms

These pictures do not give this dish credit.
I was so excited to eat that I just snapped a few quick shots, and didn't think to look at the quality of the photos until after my belly was full.
Oh well, you get the idea.
This homemade version of the Chinese take-out classic "General Tso's" is rich, hot and homey.
My husband started this recipe a few years back, and it has become a regular at our house. 
We have adapted it over time to make it slightly better for you by ditching the breading, cutting back on the sugar, adding vegetables and using lower sodium soy sauce. 
Surprisingly, the taste was never compromised.
For a vegetarian version you can just subtract the chicken, add more mushrooms and broccoli and it will be just as delicious. 
I suspect that it would also be good with shrimp?!?
Let me know what you guys think!
With Rice
As Lettuce Wraps

1 1/2 lbs. of chicken thighs, deboned and cut into bite sized pieces (resist the temptation to use chicken breast; it works but is not nearly as good)
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
1/2 lb of mushrooms, cut into slices or quarters
4-8 thai chile peppers, sliced open but left whole (use less if you don't like spice)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
+- 4 tablespoons of peanut oil or sesame oil

6 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
4 tablespoons of rice wine
4 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch

Optional: whole grain rice, white rice, fried rice or lettuce for serving

1. Prepare meat and vegetables by cutting them into bite sized pieces.
2. Prepare the sauce by combining soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, sugar and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
3. Saute garlic in oil until fragrant and add the chicken. Saute chicken until brown and cooked through.
4. Remove from heat and drain juices. Set aside chicken.
5. Saute mushrooms until brown. Saute broccoli until bright green. Set aside.
6. Toss the thai chile peppers into the hot pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Be careful not to inhale or you will burn your nostrils! Stir fry for about one minute.
7. Add chicken, garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli into the pan with the chile peppers and toss.
8. Stir the sauce well, pour it over the chicken/vegetable mix and stir constantly to coat. This will thicken almost instantaneously, so don't walk away! If it does not thicken, add a little more cornstarch.
9. Serve hot over rice and/or lettuce wraps.
10. Throw away your Chinese take-out menu because you'll never go back.


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