I was talking to a fellow pregnant woman recently who shared with me her frustrating habit of overconsumption, which I could completely relate to. Nutrition is so difficult for me when I’m pregnant, and I’m constantly attempting (and usually failing) to fight my cravings. I instantly felt a kindred spirit with this woman, a sisterhood of sorts. That was until she told me her big downfall: Oranges. She couldn’t stop eating oranges. Ya, we can’t be friends anymore.
I’m more of a fried Chinese food and ice cream kind of girl. I don’t know what it is about these babies of mine (if you missed the news on Facebook, it’s officially BOY #4 for us!) but they like fried food. And what’s better than crispy fried chunks of chicken drenched in sticky sweet sauce? General Tso’s has been a long-time favorite take-out item of mine, so I was excited to try this lightened up version, and it didn’t disappoint. Super crispy chicken, awesome, flavorful sauce (that’s SO easy to make), and happy kids all around. This was an instant hit at my house, and I bet it will be at yours, too!
There are a lot of things you can use to bread chicken with a crispy coating, and in this recipe, we’re using good ol’ Corn Flakes. It really does make a super crisp outer layer, and it holds up in a sauce better than more delicate options like Panko or bread crumbs.
You’ll need to prep three dredging bowls: egg whites, flour, and crushed corn flakes.
Dip your chunks of chicken in the flour, then the egg whites, and then finally the corn flakes. Place them on a metal rack on top of a baking sheet. The rack makes it so air can circulate around the bottom and get those little pieces crispy all over.
While the chicken is in the oven baking, you make the super quick sauce. Mince up some garlic, fresh ginger, and toss some red pepper flakes in there. If you like spicy food, add extra pepper flakes, or a few squirts of Sriracha. Or sauté the garlic and ginger in our Chili Olive Oil.
For sweetness and body, you’ll need some apricot jam. (I love Smuckers Simply Fruit.)
You’ll also need hoisin sauce, which you should be able to easily find in the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store. It lasts a long time in the fridge, so don’t hesitate to buy it just for this recipe. It’s great in lots of Asian dishes.
You’ll just sauté the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes for a minute, then add in a mixture of the jam, hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It’s thickened with a little corn starch.
The chicken bites cook quickly, and come out super crunchy.
Toss it with the sauce, serve over brown or white rice, and dinner is done!
This totally quenched my take-out cravings; it’s the perfect weeknight dinner. Pin this baby right now- you’ll thank me later!
General Tso’s Chicken
Recipe from ATK’s Comfort Food Makeovers
vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 large egg whites
5 cups (5 ounces) Kellog’s Corn Flakes, finely crushed
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts but into 1-inch pieces
1 2/3 cup 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, or Chili Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil, top with wire rack, and spray rack with oil spray. Spread flour into shallow dish. Whisk egg whites until foamy in second shallow dish. Spread corn flakes crumbs into third shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg whites, then coat with corn flakes, pressing gently to adhere; lay on prepared wire rack.
Spray chicken with oil spray. Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees and coating is brown and crisp, 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, cornstarch, and vinegar together in bowl. Heat oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, finer, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in soy sauce mixture, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
When chicken is cooked, return sauce to simmer over medium-low heat. Add cooked chicken and toss to coat. Serve immediately, as the crispy coating won’t last long-term in that yummy sauce.