My older brother and sister are very blessed in that they have many built in babysitters to take care of their kiddies. I know that we will be just as fortunate when we have kids of our own. It will be nice to have a little date night every once in awhile. Whenever my brother and sister-in-law want a night out on the town, Blair and I usually watch our nephew, Declan. We have the same routine every time we babysit. Since Declan goes to bed relatively early, I get him to bed while Blair gets us some Chinese take-out. We enjoy the take-out while catching up on Homeland since we don’t have cable at our house. It always ends up being a perfect little evening.
It took us a long time to find our favorite Chinese place to order from in our area. The one closest to my brother’s house has ended up being the perfect one, but we only ever order it when we babysit. Of course it is not far from our house, but I love to try new Asian dishes at home all the time. When I saw a healthier version of Blair’s favorite, I just had to try it for myself.
Whenever I have made Chinese chicken dishes in the past, I have hated the mess and the smell that comes with the frying. In this dish, the frying is eliminated and replaced with coating the chicken with crushed corn flakes and baking the chicken prior to adding it to the sauce. It comes together quickly and I just loved the flavors of this dish. I plan to try out the corn flake baking method with this Orange Chicken soon. Hopefully I will be able to report back with success. So instead of picking up the phone, make a healthier and tastier Chinese favorite tonight for dinner!
Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
For the chicken:
Vegetable oil spray
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
5 cups (5 ounces) Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal, finely crushed
1 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the sauce:
1 2⁄3 cups water
1⁄3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1⁄4 cup apricot jam
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
What you’ll do:
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, top with wire rack, and spray rack with cooking spray. Pulse cornflakes in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Prepare three shallow dishes. Spread flour into one of the dishes, whisk egg whites until foamy in the second dish, and finally spread crushed corn flakes in the third. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg whites, then coat with Corn Flakes, pressing gently to coat the chicken; lay on prepared wire rack. Coat chicken with oil spray. Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees and coating is brown and crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, corn- starch, and vinegar together in a small bowl. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the soy sauce mixture, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
When chicken is completely cooked, reheat if needed. Add cooked chicken and toss to coat. Serve.