This General Tso’s chicken is different, not the usual take-out variety. First, the chicken isn’t diced, but left in pieces and then roasted. Secondly, this really combines General Tso’s sauce with some orange zest and juice, creating the best of both worlds, General Tso’s and Orange chicken. Both of The Goddess’s favorites, rolled into one lovely dish. I adore General Tso’s chicken. The Eldest Son loves it, too. It’s sweet, slightly sharp and with a nice hit of heat. In other words, it has a complex flavor profile. This recipe it much simpler than the typical fried version and far fewer calories, as well. And, it has orange zest and orange juice concentrate, to make those flavors pop.
I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken. I used breasts, this time, but you can use thighs, as well. Personally, I prefer thighs, as they are more forgiving and difficult to over-cook, but I had thighs. Now, if you prefer boneless, skinless chicken, use it. I think the skin and the bone add flavor. You know they do.
I use a skillet to make this, but you could use a foil-lined cookie sheet. The skillet just makes it easier to roast and cook the sauce in. And it can go right to the table. One pot to clean, albeit a bit of a sticky one!
I use a Pyrex cup measure to mix the sauce in…works like a charm. You just mix the sauce together, whisk it up until well-combined. I like to partially roast the chicken, then smear some of the sauce over the chicken and finish roasting the chicken. Then, I remove the chicken to a plate to rest. If there’s too much fat, simply pour it off. Remember that the pan is HOT!!! I threw some onion wedges into the pan and cooked them for about 2 minutes. Then, I poured the remaining sauce into the skillet, brought it to the boil and let it just thicken. It only takes about a minute. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to thin the sauce. That’s up to you.
Now, I don’t know if we’ve ever discussed this, but instead of giving each person a chicken breast, cut the chicken into slices. One whole chicken breast (two halves) will, in fact serve four people! It makes the chicken go much further to slice them, and then everyone will have room for dessert. There should always be room for dessert!
Baked Chicken with General Tso's-Orange Sauce
- 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, patted dry (see NOTE)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (I used mushroom soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water (you may need additional at the end)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon shao shing Chinese wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 large garlic clove, finely grated (about 1 good teaspoon)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- Grated rind of 1 orange (at least 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cooked rice (for serving)
- Roasted broccoli or asparagus spears
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Pat the chicken pieces dry; rub with some oil. Place the chicken in an oven-proof skillet or pan; place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the chicken roasts, in a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, frozen orange juice concentrate, water, shao shing wine, Sriracha, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, orange zest, red pepper flakes and arrowroot.
At the 15 minute mark, remove the pan from the oven and spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture over each piece of chicken (or brush it on or over the chicken pieces). Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked (165°F for both white and dark meat).
Transfer chicken to a plate; tent loosely with foil. Place the skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining sauce into the skillet. Cook until the mixture thickens and reduces slightly, about 1 minute. Taste and correct seasoning.
Slice the chicken, at an angle, into 1/4-inch slices. Place rice on each place. Top with several slices of chicken, some roasted veggies and 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce. Sprinkle the chicken with the scallions and cilantro.
NOTE: I used bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts, but you can use boneless, skinless breast or thighs, if you prefer. Cooking times may differ. To make this gluten-free, substitute tamari for the soy sauce. I also like to sprinkle this with toasted sesame seeds, which is also a nice garnish.
Baked Chicken with General Tso’s-Orange Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.
Usually, I would add some toasted sesame oil to the sauce, but I decided to omit it. I’m glad I did, as sometimes I find it can over-power the other more delicate flavors. This is the best of take-out Chinese food, all rolled into one dish.
LEFTOVERS: Tear the leftover chicken into shreds; set aside. Dice a carrot, some celery, bell peppers and onions and use the leftover rice to make fried rice. Toss the shredded chicken into the rice; heat through. Serve with a fried or poached egg on top.