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When thunderstorms strike and grilling no longer becomes a dinner option, creativity must ensue.  As bummed as I was not to get grilled chicken, it forced me to stretch my cooking muscles and try something new.  And new chicken recipes are always welcome.  I was ecstatic to discover this lighter version of one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes.  And as luck would have it, I had (almost) all the ingredients on hand.

So sorry about the yellowish quality of the pictures.  I really need to quit making stuff at night.

Lighter General Tso’s Chicken (recipe from Martha Stewart)

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I didn’t have these so I used cayenne pepper.  Word to the wise: use 1/4 teaspoon cayenne instead of doing an even swap.  I did not think this through and my chicken was burnin’ hot.)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of cold water until smooth.  Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and pepper flakes or cayenne; toss to combine and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Add the chicken and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Put half the chicken in the skillet in an even layer, shaking off any excess of the egg white mixture.  Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, about 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.  Set aside and reserve the skillet.

Add the snow pea mixture to the skillet.  Cover and cook until snow peas are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.  Return the chicken to the skillet, with any juices, and toss to coat.

Beside the fact that my mouth practically ignited in flames with every bite from all the cayenne, this dish was so good.  It tasted just like take-out General Tso’s, just not deep fried.  Only an egg roll, a glorious, deep-fried egg roll, would have made the experience better.

Office update: We painted all the walls, made a trip to IKEA (where I had a full cup of coffee for the first time in months – free coffee and tea if you have an IKEA card! – and enjoyed every drop) and are working on the gallery wall configuration.

Not the greatest picture, but you can get an idea of what the greys look like.

This one is my favorite so far.  I’m in love with the fonts.  It looks like an old circus or carnival ad.

Today we painted an upholstered chair that was already in the room.  That’s right…we painted fabric!  Thank you once again, Pinterest.  We still have the second coat to do, so hopefully the finished product will make it into my next post!