Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Help for the Winter-Time Sniffles

Many people earnestly seek after a cure to the common cold. Many turn to exotic herbs and spices, some to vitamin C and hand sanitizer, and some simply try to sleep it away. Whatever your solution to this winter-time illness, there is a recipe that can help alleviate your sniffles.

My family and I have always been big fans of Chinese food. We love frequenting all of our local Chinese food restaurants. My mom, being the good wife that she is, keeps close tabs on what helps my dad when he isn't feeling well. When he's feeling sick and having respiratory problems, my mom knows instantly what to give him: the spicy Chinese dish of General Tang's Chicken.

Now, we've all had a bad case of the sniffles for a couple days, and I had a hankering for Chinese food. Being the poor college student that I am, it's difficult to justify buying a large Chinese dinner. So I took the cheaper route: do-it-yourself Chinese food. I went flipping through one of our Chinese cookbooks, and what should I find? One of our favorite dishes! So, feeling a little experimental, I decided to cook it. After having cooked it and served it, it turned out to be just as good as the stuff you find at a Chinese restaurant, if not better because it was made to our special order. Everyone agreed: this was exactly what the doctor ordered. Everyone needed the tissues that night. Our sinuses were kept nice and clear. And now, for you, I have the recipe I used:


2 TBSPs Cornstarch
1/2 cup Water
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Ground Ginger
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup White Cooking Wine (Sherry can also be used for a sweeter and less biting
1 1/2 cup Hot Chicken Broth (Mix 1 1/2 cups hot water with 1 1/2 tsp Chicken
3 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast or Thigh, cut into chunks (About 2 or 3
large breasts)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 TSP Pre-ground Pepper (White or Black doesn't matter)
1 Egg
1 cup Cornstarch
Oil for frying (Crisco works the best, as it browns the chicken, nicely)
1 TBSP Dried, Crushed Red Peppers OR 16 Dried, Hot Peppers

2 cups Sliced Green Onions

Mix cornstarch with water. Add garlic, ginger, sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, vinegar, wine, and chicken broth. Stir until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until needed.

In a separate bowl, mix chicken, 1/4 cups soy sauce, and pepper. Stir in egg. Add 1 cup cornstarch and mix until chicken pieces are coated evenly.

In frying pan or cast-iron skillet, heat up about 1/2" of Crisco, then drop individual pieces of chicken into oil, so as the pieces don't stick to each other. After frying all chicken, drain excess oil on a paper towel.

Pour sauce mixture into frying pan with dried peppers and cook until thick and gooey. Sauce should reach a boil. Add chicken and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice. Yields six to eight servings, depending on how much your guests love your food.

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