Cooking On A Budget: General Tsao Chicken & Vegetables

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

General Tsao Chicken & Vegetables

Yum
Thanks to the wonderful sauce, this General Tsao Chicken and Vegetables was absolutely delicious!

The sauce makes the dish. While I don't generally advocate jar sauces, this House of Tsang General Tsao Stir-Fry Sauce is really good. It should be readily available in the international aisle of your grocery store and I know that it is available too at Target and Walmart stores which are all over the country. The sauce is a combination of spicy ginger, with bright citrus flavors and teriyaki sauce. We really were impressed with the overall flavor of this dinner and I believe you are going to love it also.
The prep and cook time of this dinner is short, making it perfect for weeknight meals. And during this holiday season with everyone being so rushed, it's really a handy go to recipe. Getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes is not a problem! Do not be intimidated if you do not own a stove top or electric wok - you can use a large, deep fry pan and make a stir-fry dinner. But if you are looking to eat healthier this year, then maybe add a wok to your Christmas list of kitchen must haves.

You may think there's not enough chicken for this dish, but there is. Plus you have an abundance of vegetables to round out the dish. There's plenty for four or more actually. I served mine with rice.
  • 1 large boneless/skinless chicken breast
  • 3 bell peppers (I used tri-colored)
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 1 - 10 oz. box porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup General Tsao stir-fry sauce ( I used House of Tsang brand.)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. oil + a little more (olive oil, canola, vegetable)
  • salt and black pepper to taste


PREP THE CHICKEN:
  1. Wash your chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Remove the excess silver skin, any remaining tendons and the fat.
  3. Take your breast and cut it in half, then slice against the grain, in 3 equal slices.
  4. Use your tenderizing and pound each side slightly to help break down the connective tissues. Then slice each of those slices into strips, then in pieces. 
  5. Place the chicken in a bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To the chicken add in the stir-fry sauce and mix well. Allow to "marinate" for a while and get to your vegetable prep.

PREP YOUR VEGETABLES:
  1. Remove stem, seeds and veins from peppers and cut into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Slice the mushrooms and the bok choy. I like using the leafy part of the bok choy as well.


COOKING:
  1. I have an electric wok so I set it to 350 degrees. If you are using gas or electric set your wok on high heat and add in the tablespoon of oil. 
  2. In batches (2), quickly stir-fry the chicken for about 30-40 seconds, allowing the chicken to get just a bit caramelized. Remove chicken to a waiting bowl.
  3. Add in all of your vegetables and immediately stir. Add in the garlic and stir. Add another teaspoon of oil if necessary. Keep stirring.
  4. Add in the chicken broth and mix well, picking up all the good bits from the wok. 
  5. Put the chicken back in the pan and mix well. Turn the heat down to medium high and cook and stir occasionally until the chicken is completely cooked through. This takes about 6-8 minutes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


Serve with your favorite rice recipe for a complete and delicious meal.


I use chicken broth to make my rice and using long grain rice it costs me $1.14 to make. I use a one cup dry measure of rice and 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth with seasonings. The chicken and vegetables cost $10.45. Combining both the total is $11.59, serving four for $2.89 per person.

So my friends, how do you stir-fry? Wok, electric wok or large fry pan? What is your favorite protein to use in stir fry?

If you like Asian inspired dishes you may want to look at:

Grilled Balsamic Vegetables with Teriyaki Beef 


Sweet and Sour Beef with Vegetables


I have other stir fry recipes, some with shrimp. Just look under the Seafood section of my blog for more recipes!
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