Monday, August 15, 2016

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

Along with my children's combined list of food allergies, and my daughter's OAS symptoms to certain fruits, I have a  sensitivity to MSG. And, honestly, I just miss Chinese take-out. But the instant migraine and hours in the bathroom (ahem) after eating it just isn't worth it. So, I found a solution!  Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken! It is spicy, filling, and so delicious. I have even eliminated the pineapple juice, (but retained the sweetness), so common in General Tso's Chicken recipes because of my daughter's OAS. Freshly ground ginger, and sauteed fresh broccoli florets take this classic take-out dish to the next level of food bliss. Get that slow cooker out, and stay in tonight with this homemade version of a take-out staple! 

By ingredients, this recipe for Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken is peanut-free, tree nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, fish-free, and shellfish-free. As always, check this ingredient list and your local products to make sure that this recipe is allergy safe for your family and/or friends! 

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4 pounds chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups, 3 Tablespoons organic cornstarch, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup orange juice
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)
1 head of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated on a microplane
1 bunch scallions, sliced on the bias
3-4 crowns of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
Rice (Prepare using your preferred method. I use a rice cooker so I can time it to be done the same time as the slow cooker)

  1. *In a shallow dish, whisk together 1 ½ cups cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  2. *Prepare sauce in the slow cooker by whisking together sugar, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, ginger root, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a few swirls of canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. *(children who understand stove top safety) Dredge chicken pieces and saute in skillet until browned on all sides (not cooking through, just browning.) Add directly to the slow cooker. Fold the chicken into the sauce so each piece is coated.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours.
  1. *15-20 minutes before serving, Make a slurry of 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 Tablespoons water and slowly add to the slow cooker, stirring gently until your desired amount of slurry is fully incorporated. The entire amount of slurry may not be needed, depending on how much the sauce has already thickened during cooking. Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes more.
  2. *Saute the broccoli florets in a Tablespoon or two of canola oil, just until crisp tender and deep, bright green.
  3. *To serve, spoon rice into a bowl, top with broccoli, then chicken with sauce, and finally garnish generously with scallions.  

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 As always, from The Allergy Safe Kitchen, I wish you "Good Cooking, and Safe Eating"!

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