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Cooking with JoJo: Fight the war on fat with healthy General Tso’s chicken

Joey Morasse • Updated Sep 18, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Chinese food is a guilty pleasure of mine. General Tso’s chicken is up there as one of my favorites, but with the amount of breading and frying, along with the sweet sauce, the calories add up quickly, as well as the fat grams both good and bad. 

For this recipe, the use of arrowroot and coconut flour rather than traditional all-purpose flour with egg whites and a touch of baking soda make for crispy chicken. When coated with the sweet and salty sauce made with date paste and a hint of rice vinegar and spices, now you can indulge a little more often without the guilt.

What you’ll need:

• 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cubed.

• 2 large egg whites.

• 1 cup arrowroot flour.

• 1 cup coconut flour.

• ½ tsp. baking soda, for crispy batter.

• 1 cup coconut oil.

For the sauce:

• ¼ cup rice vinegar

• ¼ cup coconut aminos, soy sauce if preferred.

• 4 garlic cloves, minced.

• ¼ tsp. Chinese five spice.

• ¼ tsp. red chili flake.

• 2 tsp. sesame oil.

• 3 tsp. arrowroot flour.

• 1 tsp. coconut oil.

• 1 cup water.

• 3 dates, blended to a paste.

• 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced.

If time allows, cube the chicken the night before and soak in 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to create tender-and-juicy chicken. For the sauce, blend all ingredients well and add to a saucepan and cook on low for about five minutes. Bring to a boil for two minutes and turn off the heat and let sit to thicken. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry. 

Mix coconut flour and arrowroot flour, along with baking soda in a separate dish for the dredge. Whisk the egg whites to create a light foam. Coat the chicken in the egg whites and then in the dredge. 

Cooking the chicken in batches, preferably in a large wok on high heat, add 1 cup of coconut oil and let it come to temperature. Add in the chicken and turn every two to three minutes until golden brown. 

Transfer it to a dish lined with paper towels to let it drain. Once all the chicken is cooked, add to a large bowl and pour the sauce over and toss until it’s all coated. 

For my side, as seen in the picture, I sautéed kale with a bit of ginger and fresh garlic and topped it with the delicious chicken. Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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