Homemade Chinese Leftovers

I love Chinese Take-Out. I mean, don’t we all? My family ordered it quite a bit when I was little and it was always so much fun. I got to use chopsticks, (sooo much cooler than forks), I got to order anything I wanted, and the food came in adorable, plastic containers. It was awesome. Then I got older and smarter and learned how awesomely horrible the food in those adorable, plastic containers is for you. It can be enough to set you back a couple days worth of calories… and that’s just not cool. (Ignorance sure was bliss though, wasn’t it?)
Now I have a different relationship with those Chinese restaurants. I love that they are still littered throughout the city for me, just patiently waiting for me to give them a call. And I love that the little paper menus are still in the kitchen junk drawer if ever I need them. But chances are these days, if I want some Chinese food, I’m making it myself. However, before I continue on that route, let us go back to Ignorance Town for one more minute, shall we? Let’s talk about the added bonus of ordering Chinese take-out- Days later, when you’re absolutely famished and exhausted, you peer desperately into your fridge and your eyes stumble upon that adorable, plastic container just smiling at you. You grab it, enjoy it cold on the couch and continue feeling incredible lazy. That’s a great feeling.
So last night when my husband and I went to a wine tasting and came home really late, famished and exhausted, I was oh-so-glad that I thought ahead to make us some Chinese take-out. That afternoon I had put each of ours in two of my own adorable, plastic containers and last night we both sat on the couch, with our chopsticks and enjoyed some cold leftovers far, far away from Ignorance Town.
The following recipe combines two of my all-time favorite things to order from a Chinese restaurant-General Tso’s Chicken and Orange Chicken. They’re not really Chinese, I know that, but they’re sinfully delicious all the same, (emphasis on the sinful). So I, in classic Me fashion, have cut down on the calories quite a bit by using healthy, all white meat chicken nuggets from the emergency section of my son’s part of the freezer and baking them, instead of frying them, and also by steaming all the vegetables first so they don’t absorb a ton of oil in the pan. Hope you enjoy it-
*The Skinny Orange General’s Chicken
(serves 4-6)
-to make the sauce, combine the following ingredients in a large jar or quart container, and shake well to combine:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-1/4 cup Sherry (NOT cooking sherry)
-1 can of chicken broth, or about 2 cups worth
-1/4 cup orange juice + 1-2 tsp of zest (OR 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate)
-1 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
-1 tsp finely minced ginger
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup cornstarch
-to prepare the dish:
-Bake 2-3 lbs of all white meat chicken nuggets (I always buy the fancy kind without the additives) according to package directions until very crispy. (And yes, you can certainly bread your own chicken breast pieces and bake them, this was just very convenient).
-In the largest steamer you have, steam about twice that amount of veggies, (I used baby corn, snow peas, carrots and broccoli). Steam them until cooked through and tender.
-In a large wok or saucepan, heat about 1 TB of olive oil with a splash of sesame oil and saute 3-4 chopped green onions and 8 whole, dried chilies (I always use Chile De Arbol), then add your cooked veggies and toss until everything is heated through.
-Season veggies with a good bit of soy sauce, then add your sauce to the pan. Keep stirring on medium heat until the sauce thickens.
-Add your cooked chicken nuggets (If they’re really big, cut them in half before adding to the pan) and toss until everything is coated with the sauce.
-Serve over brown rice and garnish with more green onions if you’d like.

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  • Reply Chef E June 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I have the ingredients to make this, maybe tonight! Looks good, hope mine looks so good 🙂

  • Reply Everyday Champagne June 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks E! I tried to write the recipe using things I always have on hand…

  • Reply Tinky June 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I love what you've done to health it up, and it looks just wonderful. A keeper…..

  • Reply Everyday Champagne June 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you Tinky, I always try to keep things on the healthy side for my family without sacrificing flavor.. that's my ultimate challenge!

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