General Tso’s chicken is traditionally a sweet, deep-fried chicken dish that is served in Chinese restaurants. It is often seen as General Tse’s chicken. The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (Tso Tsung-t’ang), a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader.
This baked version of General Tso Chicken is baked for a lighter and much healthier version that actually tastes BETTER to us than the original version AND it is so much easier to prepare. The sauce is sweet and savory and best of all is poured right over the raw chicken for a one pan supper that tastes better than ANY restaurant quality meal.
GENERAL TSO CHICKEN Yield 4-6 servings
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add more for a spicier dish or omit for a mild dish)
¼ cup peanuts
Optional garnish: sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Spray a medium (9×6 or 11×7) baking dish with cooking spray.
Place chicken in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, salt, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
- Pour sauce over chicken and stir to combine.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir, return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
- Remove from oven, stir in peanuts. Season with additional salt and red pepper flakes, to taste.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds just before serving.
1) Serve the General Tso Chicken over rice with plenty of extra sauce spooned over top. We love it with steamed broccoli!
2) If you’re just cooking for 2 the ingredients cut in half really well. I like to prepare it in individual 5×5 Le Crueset baking dishes.
COCOA FUDGE BROWNIES
These brownies are crisp on top, have a bottom that holds together and are gooey and chewy in the center. They are also super versatile. Add walnuts, heath bar pieces, peanut butter chips or a ribbon of caramel depending on your flavor needs at the moment.
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 LARGE eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup QUALITY unsweetened cocoa powder
7-8 ounces roughly chopped chocolate (I use Bakers)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray an 9×9 or 8×10 baking pan with cooking oil spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted butter, oil and sugar.
- Add the eggs and vanilla; beating another minute until light in color.
- In another bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined DO NOT OVER BEAT – this will make them tough if you do and DO NOT OVER BEAT your batter especially after the flour and cocoa powder are added. Doing so creates air pockets in the batter which will give you cake-like textured brownies.
- Fold in 75% of the chocolate pieces and walnuts.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly, and top with remaining chocolate pieces.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the brownies in the pan no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch (the brownies will keep baking in the hot pan out of the oven). When testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out dirty for fudge brownies.
- Cool for 10 minutes and then carefully remove them from pan.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
- Store at room temperature for 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These brownies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
- Changing your chocolate flavor can alter your flavors.
CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE
1/2 pound penne pasta
3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
Wondra flour for dredging
Fresh ground black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 batch marinara sauce (recipe below)
1 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook pasta per package directions on the al dente’ side. Drain and set aside.
- Combine flour and seasonings in a ziplock bag.
- Heat butter and oil in skillet until sizzling.
- Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
- Add chicken pieces to hot oil and quickly sear all sides.
- In a large bowl gently combine sauce and pasta with the majority of the Mozzarella and Parmesan reserving some for the top.
- Gently fold in chicken pieces and stir to coat.
- Spread ingredients evenly into baking dish.
- Top with provolone slices followed by the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
- Uncover and return to oven baking another 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown.
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small red onion, chopped
24 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 KNORR beef gel
3/4 cup moscato white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced into a paste
3 tablespoons Classico sundried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- Heat avocado oil in a large saute’ pan over medium high heat.
- Add onions and garlic sauteing until tender.
- Whisk together the beef gel, wine, pesto and juice from the tomatoes.
- Add seasonings, blending well.
- Add tomatoes and gently crush.
- Bring to a SLOW boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
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CREAMY SUN DRIED TOMATO PARMESAN CHICKEN
1 1/2 pounds large THINLY sliced boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black cracked pepper (adjust to your tastes)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
5 ounce jar sun dried tomato strips in oil drained (reserve 3 tablespoons of oil for cooking)
3 tablespoons reserved sun dried tomato oil or olive oil, divided
5-6 button mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 – 2 cups spinach (optional)
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley to serve
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and onion powder.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved sun dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sear the chicken for 2 minutes or so each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan.
- Add shallots and garlic, sautéing a minute or so until garlic is fragrant.
- Add in the sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms if using sautéing 1-2 more minutes to release their flavors.
- Add paprika and Italian seasoning, stirring to blend.
- Reduce heat to a medium-low.
- Add white wine and then the heavy cream, stirring to blend.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the Parmesan cheese. Allow sauce to simmer for a few minutes until cheese melts and blends into sauce.
- Add in spinach leaves if using and allow to wilt in the sauce.
- Add the chicken back into the pan; top with parsley and serve over pasta.
Steak tips come from one of two areas of the cow, either the tenderloin (a more tender, expensive cut) or from the sirloin or round flap meat.
BBQ STEAK TIPS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small container Greek yogurt
1 LARGE red onion, halved and sliced thin
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds steak tips
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- Stir steak tips with yogurt and let sit 45 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook onion with a sprinkle of salt covered until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon remove onions from skillet.
- Add additional tablespoon of oil.
- Pat steak tips dry and then generously season them with salt and pepper.
- Add steak to the pan and cook until browned all over to desired doneness (5-20 minutes).
- Transfer steak to platter and tent with foil.
- Add onion back to skillet along with the broth and BBQ sauce.
- Simmer 5 -10 minutes over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
- Season to taste.
- Whisk in butter pieces.
- Add steak tips into sauce, stirring to coat.
- Ladle steak tips and sauce over prepared pasta.
I found this recipe in a pile of grams old recipe pamphlets and it sounded so easy to update while still being really tasty. I made beef today, but will make chicken next time and add celery, onions and carrots to make it more like Inside Out Chicken Pot Pies.
CHICKEN or BEEF SHORTCAKES makes 8
3 cups rotisserie chicken pieces* OR beef rib eye cubes
8 warm biscuits (made from scratch or Pillsbury canned)
1 quart chicken or beef broth
1/3 cup butter
scant 3/4 cup flour
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
- In a saucepan bring all but 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to a boil.
- In a separate small saucepan melt butter.
- Add flour and whisk until golden.
- Add in reserved broth and whisk until well blended making a roux.
- Slowly add roux to broth and combine well.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add chicken, salt and pepper to taste, stirring to coat chicken well and heat through.
- Split biscuits in half.
- Ladle chicken mixture onto biscuit and replace top.
NOTE: *I usually buy a rotisserie chicken each week at Costco to eat off of so always seem to have one around for quick recipes like this.
BALSAMIC BAKED MOZZARELLA CHICKEN serves 4
adapted from CafeDelites.com
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
FRESH ground salt teaspoon salt, to taste
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained well
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 LARGE shallot, sliced
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with lemon olive oil.
- Mix together Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Rub seasoning all over each breast.
- Arrange the tomatoes, half of the garlic, shallot slices and red onion slices around the chicken in the dish.
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and remaining garlic in a jug to combine.
- Pour over the chicken breasts, flip each breast in the sauce to evenly coat.
- Bake 20-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), or until no longer pink in the middle.
- Sprinkle with cheese and broil for 4-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
- Garnish with parsley and basil.
- Serve over pasta
- Drizzle with the pan juices.
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I’m working on a Italian Pizza, Buffalo Chicken and Mexican Taco version too!
HAWAIIAN HASSELBACK CHICKEN adapted from The Painted Apron
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs**
3-4 ounces thinly sliced tavern ham from the deli
1 LARGE can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved **
1-2 cups King’s Hawaiian ORIGINAL BBQ sauce
- PREHEAT oven to 375°.
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
- Slice thighs grid like, cutting about 2/3 way down DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY
- Tuck a piece of tavern ham in between cut areas.
- Arrange chicken pieces close together, but not cramped together.
- In a small bowl fold together the BBQ sauce and pineapple pieces.
- Spoon pineapple mixture over chicken. Use additional BBQ sauce as necessary to make sure chicken is completely coated.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked through, basting with pan juices 1/2 way through baking time.
- Breasts work too, but require less cooking time. DO NOT OVERCOOK or they will be dry!
- I also throw in a small can of drained pineapple chunks just because hubby likes them and it adds a bit of texture to the dish.
- You can prep this dish in the morning to cook when you get home from work. It refrigerates well to be baked later.
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Using ordinary materials (vinegar, food coloring and whipping cream) you probably already have on hand to decorate gorgeous Easter eggs is so easy and fun too! You will want to wear gloves so as not to dye your fingers.
TIE-DYE EASTER EGGS
Bowl of Vinegar
- Boils eggs and cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the eggs (or work in batches) place the eggs in the bowl and cover with vinegar for 20 minutes. The vinegar allows the dye to adhere to the egg shell better.
- Dry the eggs and set aside.
- In a large baking dish fill it with a thick layer (about 1 inch deep) of the whipping cream.
- Generously dot the cream with various colors of food dye coating most of the surface fairly close together.
- Drag a skewer or chopstick through the cream to create a tie-dye design, kind of like you’re making a marbled cake.
- Place a layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet and set aside.
- Put on gloves to protect your hands from the dye.
- Gently place an egg on the surface of the whipped cream.
- Slowly roll the egg over the surface to coat the shell.
- Place the egg on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining eggs. DO NOT WIPE ANYTHING OFF!
- Let dry 20 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with water. The water will remove the excess cream leaving the design on the egg.
- Gently submerge the egg and then GENTLY dry with paper toweling. DO NOT RUB HARD as you might rub off the design.
- Store eggs in refrigerator.
NOTE: This can be done substituting shaving cream for whipped cream, but then they are for decoration only and NOT edible!!
And just for your information here is a great little color chart for other methods.
CHILI HONEY LIME SALMON
2 limes – 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice (about 1 lime and 1 lemon juiced) and 1 lime cut into wedges
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
4 garlic cloves, minced
+/- 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes (based on spice level preference)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
4 FRESH salmon fillets
4-6 baby sweet red, orange, yellow bell peppers, de-seeded and diced
1 large shallot, sliced thick
- Preheat oven to broil settings on high heat.
- Cover baking sheet with foil.
- Spray foil with cooking oil spray; set aside.
- Whisk together lime juice, parsley, olive oil, water, garlic, chili flakes, cumin and salt together to combine.
- Add the honey and whisk again until well combined.
- Arrange the salmon fillets, peppers and onion in a single layer on the prepared baking tray.
- Pour half of the marinade evenly over salmon, peppers and shallots, turning to coat well.
- Broil until the peppers are just beginning to char at the edges and the salmon is cooked to your liking, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lime wedges and remaining marinade for added flavor.
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen diced peaches
1 1/2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rolled oats (NOT instant)**
4 teaspoons flour
2 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raspberries or blueberries or ???
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Lightly spray 2 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
- Toss peaches, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and salt together. Set aside.
- In a small food processor, pulse oats until a fine crumble.
- Add 2 tablespoons sugar and flour to oats and pulse until well blended.
- Cut in butter with pastry blender until a coarse meal.
- Stir in vanilla and walnuts.
- Divide peach mixture between ramekins.
- Divide raspberries over each ramekin.
- Sprinkle each ramekin with oat mixture.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.
- Cool 5 minutes before serving – that fruit is HOT!
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I can’t say why this is called caramel chicken, but it doesn’t really matter since I can no longer eat sugar because of my health so anything with the name caramel in the name is A-OK by me 😀 In all honesty I assume it is the rich caramel sauce you start with, but the finished product tastes NOTHING like the caramel sauce you put on ice cream.
Now, while I can’t actually eat sugar, I can prepare it the normal way and then be sure let the sauce drain from my piece of chicken so hubby can still enjoy the REAL thing.
Most of the recipes I’ve seen call for using bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, but I like to make it with boneless pieces for easier
3/4 cup dry Jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt
- Prepare rice per package directions.
- Remove from heat.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1+1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons FRESH minced ginger
1 SMALL shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, angularly sliced
2 tablespoons torn Basil leaves
- Over medium-high heat, melt sugar 5 minutes or so until the color of iced tea. Keep the pan moving like a jiffy pop popcorn tin 😀
- Whisk together chicken broth and fish sauce.
- Add fish sauce broth to sugar whisking until smooth. BE CAREFUL – SUGAR is REALLY HOT and will spurt AND BUBBLE.
- Remove from heat.
- In a separate skillet add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to heated skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sear chicken on ALL sides.
- Remove chicken to plate.
- Add remaining tablespoon of oil.
- Add shallots, mushrooms and garlic, cooking until soft.
- Add caramel sauce, stirring to blend.
- Add chicken and turn to coat.
- Add basil leaves.
- Simmer until sauce thickens.
- Serve over prepared rice.
- Garnish with green onions.