General tso

When I was in university there was this little restaurant seconds away that I had to stop myself from eating at more often. It is called Nouilles Express and they made ( and still make) the perfect general tso.

The chicken is crispy, the sauce is a perfect balance and an order of fried noodles on the side completes the deal. Even now when we’re in Montreal we sometimes head there just for that.

A few years ago I shared a recipe for General Tso here on the blog. However, there was something about it that did exactly fit with the general tso I used to love. I don’t exactly remember how I found it, but I had this recipe in my recipe app for a little while and I finally decided to try it..

It is amazing!!

Though the other sauce is a great base for other stir-fry type dishes, if I am in the mood for General Tso… This will be my go to recipe from now on… I make it with with chicken or tofu depending on my mood.

For the chicken (or tofu):

  • 4 chicken breasts or 2 blocks of tofu (cut in bite size pieces)
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

In a bowl or ziplock, marinate meat or tofu in tamari, sesame oil and garlic and a few tsp of cornstarch for at least 30 min.

With enough oil to cover the pieces, fry the chicken or tofu then set aside.

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup stock (veggie, chicken or even water with a bit of Braggs.)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp hoisin
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp tamari

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl until sugar dissolves and set aside.

You also need:

  • 3 cups of broccoli cut into bit size pieces (optional)
  • 4-5 stalks of green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
  • About an inch of ginger, minced.
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sesame oil

If you are making the broccoli, stir fry the brocolli until the colour changes but don’t over cook, and then set aside.

In your hot wok, add a bit of sesame oil and then stir fry the green onion, ginger and garlic. Add the sauce to the wok and let boil for a minute or two. The sauce will change colour and become thick and glazed.

Once the sauce is thick, add the chicken and the broccoli and toss in the sauce.

Serve with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds for the final touch…


Chicken and Dumpling soup

I had never had, or heard of Chicken and Dumpling soup until a few years ago when I was watching a show on the food network that made it look so good. It looked exactly like comfort food even though I hated soup.

Yes, not very long ago, I hated all soups.

There is something about being able to drink my food that didn’t appeal to me and honestly most of the soups that I had in my memory were not the best. It is not that I wanted to hate soup, I actually wanted the opposite, I knew it was easy to make, inexpensive and that I could probably like the taste if I made it myself… so I started making a few…

This is one of the first soups I made and to this day it is still a favourite in the household, especially with the kids.

It all starts with a chicken…

Chicken and dumpling soup is always a second meal for me… what I mean by that is that I will roast a chicken and use about half of it for super the night before in something like club sandwiches. I then strip off the rest of the meat and put it aside, and then store the bones and the juices from the roast chicken until the next day. One chicken, two meals. I might look like a lot of work and a lot of step but it really isn’t… it is actually an easy meal to make and each of the steps takes just a few minutes to prepare and the result is well worth it!

In the morning I start on the stock…

No measuring needed…

  • Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot.
  • Chop an onion in quarters (no need to peel them) and throw them in
  • Add a few green onions if you have them also
  • Cut a head of garlic into two pieces horizontally and throw it in (again no peeling needed)
  • Break a few stalk of celery in half and throw those in
  • Same thing with a few carrots
  • Sprinkle a bit of coarse salt, freshly ground pepper and a bit of poultry seasoning. (sage, thyme, marjoram)
  • Let the veggies cook and caramelize a bit. It adds depth to the stock.
Veggies for broth
Add the chicken bones and then about 16 cups of water… or enough to cover everything.


Making chicken Broth

Let simmer for a few hours until reduced by almost half.

You will end up with a flavourful and rich and flavourful stock. Strain, and set aside.
Rich homemade Chicken broth
About an hour before starting the soup, it is time to make the dumplings.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 green onions (chopped finely)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice) *I use almond milk
  • 2 eggs
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and onions together in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the sour milk and eggs. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in slowly until just incorporated being very careful not to overmix. It will be lumpy and that is perfectly fine.

Place in the fridge for an hour.


To make the soup…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Chopped roasted chicken (about 2 cups… or half  chicken)
  • chicken broth (recipe above)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
In a large pot, heat oil and butter. Add the veggies and cook until softened.
Carrots, celery and garlic cooking
Add the flour and let cook for a few minutes
added flour
Cup by cup add the broth. After about 5 cups are added, start waiting a bit between each next addition and add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add the rest of the broth and adjust the seasonings to taste. Add the chicken and let simmer for about 5 min.
The soup should be flavourful and slightly thick and creamy.
thick and creamy chicken soup
While the soup is simmering, take the dumpling batter  out of the fridge. It should resemble a thick pancake batter.
dumpling mix
Using two tablespoons (or an ice cream scoop) quickly add spoonfuls of the dumpling mix to the soup. (You want to go as fast as possible)
Then quickly cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes… don’t uncover when cooking!
(the dumplings will rise to the top and will both boil and stream at the same time)
dumpling are done
(the result is a very light and fluffy dumpling)
light and fluffy
And that is it! it is ready to serve and be enjoyed…
 I have to say… It is so hard to take pictures of this soup.. it might not look that appealing on camera but it is the ultimate comfort food, full of flavour, full of goodness and the whole family loves it.
Chicken and Dumpling soup

Fried Chicken Sandwiches…

I was having a craving for some fried chicken sandwiches… the kind that you get at fast food places but better… These turned out even better than I would have hoped, they were perfect and everyone loved them!

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

I had 4 chicken breasts, so it made 8 sandwiches.

To begin with, cut a chicken breast in half horizontally. (So place chicken breast on cutting board, place knife on the side of it and cut with the knife parallel to the board)

Place the halved breasts in a bowl, bag or container and add 1 1/2 cup  buttermilk (or a mix of 1 1/2 c of milk with 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice).

Marinate  for at least 6 hours (overnight is better though)

Take chicken out of the Fridge at least 30 min before frying and in a container/bowl/bag put 2 cups of flour and the following:

  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1  teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Dip the chicken into the Seasoned Flour and then place on a plate and if you want you can redip into the buttermilk and then redip into the flour for more of a crust.

Prepare Oil in a pan, I used my favourite Cast Iron Skillet and added about 1 1/2 inch of oil and heated it up to 325 using a candy/oil thermometer.

Fry the chicken for a few minutes each side until done and golden brown. (it took about 3 min on each side for mine) and place on a few paper towels.

Fried chicken breast for sandwich

Place on a bun with lettuce and Mayo and whatever else you like…

I love the spicy mayo on these kind of sandwiches so I made a  mix with Mayo and Frank’s Red Hot and it was perfect.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

This is definitely something that I will be making again in the near future…

I have never had a Fried chicken sandwich that tasted as fresh and crispy as this, and of course, by making by own bread the cost of these are minimal…

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