Get ready to enjoy the taste of Chinese takeout at home with our easy recipe for Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken. This convenient slow-cooker recipe is a delicious, healthier take on the classic Chinese-American dish, and perfect for busy weeknights or meal prepping. Give it a try today!
CROWD-PLEASING SLOW COOKER GENERAL TSO CHICKEN
What is Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken and why use a slow cooker
General Tso’s chicken is a beloved Chinese-American dish that is known for its sweet and tangy flavor, as well as its crispy texture. The dish is made with deep-fried chicken that is then tossed in a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and various spices.
While traditional General Tso’s chicken can be a bit of a hassle to make at home, an easy slow cooker version allows you to achieve all the flavor without the deep-frying.
A slow cooker, also known as a crock-pot, is a kitchen appliance that allows you to cook food at a low temperature over an extended period of time. The low, slow cooking process results in tender, juicy meats and flavorful stews and soups.
One of the greatest benefits of using a slow cooker is that it can make meal planning and preparation a breeze, allowing you to come home to a fully cooked meal after a long day at work or school.
Slow cookers are also great for busy families or individuals who don’t have a lot of time to spend cooking. With a little bit of prep work in the morning, you can have dinner ready and waiting for you in the evening.
This recipe for Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken is the perfect way to enjoy all the flavor of the dish without the hassle of deep-frying.
By using a slow cooker, you can make this delicious dish with minimal effort and maximum flavor. So, Are you ready to impress your family and friends with this delicious and easy-to-make slow cooker recipe? Let’s get started!
Ingredients: List of ingredients and Substitutions for Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken
The main ingredients for this recipe for Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken are 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 12.6 oz. jar of General Tso Stir Fry Sauce, 2 green onions, chopped, and optional 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 8 dried thai chilies.
- 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts provide the protein for the dish. This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but chicken thighs can be used as a substitution if preferred.
- 12.6 oz. jar of General Tso Stir Fry Sauce provides the sweet and tangy flavor that is characteristic of General Tso’s chicken. If you’re unable to find a jar of General Tso Stir Fry Sauce, you can use a store-bought or homemade stir fry sauce as a substitute.
- 2 green onions, chopped, adds a fresh and light flavor that balance with the sweetness of the sauce. you can use scallions as a substitute.
- The optional ingredients include 1 tsp. sesame seeds, which are used as a garnish, and 8 dried thai chilies, which add a subtle spicy kick. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can omit the chilies, or you could use red pepper flakes as a substitute.
It’s also important to note that these ingredient measurements are approximate, so you can adjust them to your preference, for example If you like more sauce or you want it to be more sweet or less sweet, you can adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar accordingly. Also, you can add or remove chilies according to your taste.
Preparation: Instructions for Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken
Preparation for Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken is simple and straightforward. Here are the step-by-step instructions for preparing the dish:
- Place chicken and dried Thai chilies in a slow cooker. Cook, covered, on LOW for 6 hours (or HIGH for 3 hours) or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
- After the chicken is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the slow cooker, placing it on a cutting board, and drain the meat juices from the slow cooker, leaving the chilies in the slow cooker.
- Cut the chicken into cubes and place it back into the slow cooker with the chilies.
- Pour the General Tso sauce over the chicken and cook, covered, on HIGH for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the sauce is bubbly.
- Serve the chicken over cooked rice. For added flavor and color, you can top the dish with green onions and/or sesame seeds.
Here are a few tips for making the dish even more flavorful:
- For a more authentic taste, you could use hoisin sauce instead of the General Tso sauce
- To add a hint of acidity, you could add some rice vinegar to the dish
- You could also add some chopped garlic and ginger into the sauce or even into the chicken
- Add some veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli or carrots
- You can choose to add more or less of the dried Thai chilies depending on how spicy you like your food
Cook time and temperature are important to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat. For best results, you should cook the chicken on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. The temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) in order to be safe to eat, and you should use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.
Serving Suggestions: Suggestions for side dishes, Ideas for how to serve with Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken
Serving suggestions for Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken can vary depending on personal preference and dietary restrictions. Here are a few suggestions for side dishes, serving options, and ideas for leftovers:
- Suggestions for side dishes:
- Steamed or fried rice is a classic and popular choice. The rice can help soak up any excess sauce and provides a neutral base for the flavors of the chicken.
- Vegetable side dishes such as steamed broccoli or sautéed bok choy are a great way to add some extra nutrients and texture to the meal.
- A simple salad of mixed greens or a cucumber salad can also be a refreshing complement to the dish.
- Ideas for how to serve the dish:
- The traditional way to serve General Tso’s chicken is over steamed rice. This is a classic and easy option that allows the flavors of the chicken to shine through.
- Another option is to serve the chicken in lettuce wraps for a light and refreshing alternative.
- You can also serve the chicken over noodles like lo mein.
- For a low-carb option, you can serve the chicken over cauliflower rice
- Options for leftovers:
- The leftovers of this dish can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Reheat the leftovers in a pan or microwave.
- You can also freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months, be sure to reheat it completely when you defrost it before serving.
- You can also use the leftover chicken as a topping for salad or as a filling for sandwiches and wraps.
Overall, the dish is a great option for a family dinner, a dinner party or as leftovers for quick lunch or dinner. With a little bit of creativity, you can serve it in many different ways that will appeal to your taste, dietary needs or health considerations.
Bonus: A variation of the recipe for Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken
As a bonus, here’s a variation of the recipe for those who enjoy a spicy kick to their General Tso’s chicken:
Spicy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken:
- To make the dish spicier, you can add more dried Thai chilies or red pepper flakes to the slow cooker with the chicken.
- You could also add some Sriracha or other hot sauce to the General Tso sauce to increase the heat level.
- Another option is to add some fresh jalapeño or Serrano peppers to the slow cooker with the chicken.
The dish of General Tso’s chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish, however, it is not originally from China. The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (also spelled Tso Tsung-t’ang), a 19th-century Hunanese military leader and statesman. However, the dish is not found in Hunan and is not widely known there. According to the New York Times, the dish was most likely invented in the United States by Chinese immigrants, specifically for American tastes.
A fun fact about the dish is that General Tso’s chicken is one of the most popular Chinese-American dishes in the United States, but it is virtually unknown in China, where it is not considered a traditional dish. According to reports, the dish was first created in New York City in the early 1970s by a Hunanese immigrant chef, Peng Chang-kuei, who later brought the dish to Taiwan.
Conclusion: Nutritional information, Final thoughts on the dish and how it can be adapted
In conclusion, Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken is a delicious and convenient way to enjoy all the flavors of the classic Chinese-American dish without the hassle of deep-frying.
The recipe is simple to prepare and the slow cooking process results in tender and juicy chicken that is packed with flavor. The dish can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs by adjusting the ingredient measurements and substituting ingredients.
In terms of nutritional information, the dish is relatively high in calories and sodium due to the use of oil for deep-frying and the presence of soy sauce in the General Tso sauce.
However, this slow cooker version eliminates deep frying and reduces the oil content. One serving of this dish can contain around 250-350 calories and 1-2 grams of saturated fat, as well as around 600-800 mg of sodium, depending on the serving size.
As a final thought, General Tso’s chicken is a dish that is known for its delicious flavor and it can be enjoyed by anyone. By using a slow cooker, you can make this delicious dish without spending hours in the kitchen, it is a great option for a family dinner, a dinner party or as leftovers for quick lunch or dinner.
With a little bit of creativity, you can serve it in many different ways that will appeal to your taste, dietary needs or health considerations. Whether you prefer it spicy, sweeter, or less sweet, this recipe for Easy Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken is a great starting point for making your own delicious and customized version of this classic dish.
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