General Tso’s Crockpot Chicken

It’s been a sad couple of weeks in the food world.

You may have heard that the inventor of the Big Mac, Mr. Michael ‘Jim’ Delligatti, passed away a week or two ago? I grew up hearing the famous jingle “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun” playing on television. and while I’ve never been known to have a “big mac attack”, I can appreciate the popularity and longevity of Mcdonald’s most famous signature item.

Speaking of special sauce, the “secret” recipe isn’t really secret and can be found online if you do a quick search. It’s essentially  a mixture of store-bought mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Sorry to ruin any illusions of magic you may have had.

In addition, the inventor of General Tso’s chicken – Mr. Peng Chang-Kuei, – passed away. If you’re not familiar, General Tso’s Chicken is a well-known North American Chinese dish. It’s sweet, yet slightly spicy and very popular. Rightfully so, because it’s delicious! It’s supposedly named after a 19th century military leader from China’s Hunan province.

Interestingly, there isn’t any recorded connection between him and the dish – or the dish and the region he’s from.  According to legend, this dish was something Mr. Peng whipped up for a visiting American navy admiral. When the admiral loved the dish and asked what it was called, Mr. Peng made the name up on the spot, giving homage to the qing dynasty statesman.

So, to honour Mr. Peng, I’ve decided to make an easy version of General Tso’s Chicken. This recipe I used is simple and healthier than the usual version. Aside from browning the chicken in a pan, everything else is done in the crockpot. The recipe comes from a blog called, ‘the endless meal‘. What a fantastic name! After all, isn’t life just one long endless meal?

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • ¼ c hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 1″ piece ginger, finely minced
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • green onions, sliced, for garnish

Directions

  1. This part reminds me of making shake ‘n bake chicken..
  2. In a large plastic bag, put the chicken breast chunks, cornstarch and black pepper. Shake the bag until the chicken is evenly coated with cornstarch and black pepper mixture.
  3. In a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, fry the chicken chunks until they’re all well-browned on each side. This step should take approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Once nicely browned and cooked through, add the chicken and the remaining ingredients to your crockpot. Give it a quick stir before setting your crockpot to high for 4 hours. You’ll end up with moist delicious chicken covered in a thick sticky sauce full of flavour.
  5. Serve with rice, topped with green onions.

Check back soon, as I’ll be sharing a recipe for a delicious Asian inspired vegetable side dish that is a perfect accompaniment to General Tso’s Chicken.

Bon Appetit!

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