Sweet and Sour Apricot Chicken

This dish with its fruity tang, savory notes and bright colors is especially appealing to kids (of all ages). If you are blessed in Summer with local apricots, by all means use them in this dish but my recipe takes advantage of something that is accessible year ’round, dried apricots. They also have a tang that adds to the overall flavor of the dish. If you use gluten-free ketchup this recipe is gluten-free and lower in fat than most sweet and sour Asian dishes. Enjoy!

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Sweet and Sour Apricot Chicken

Yield: 5 servings

1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 red, green and yellow bell pepper
6 oz. dried apricots
1 small yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons corn starch (1 for dusting the chicken)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Soak dried apricots in hot water for 1 hour. Cut chicken into 1-1/4 inch chunks. Dust chicken with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut peppers and onion into 1-1/4 inch chunks and set aside. Mix vinegar, honey, ketchup, tamari and cornstarch till cornstarch is dissolved. Heat oil in a wok at high heat till hot but not smoking and add the dusted chicken and garlic. Stir fry till chicken is cooked (160°) and beginning to brown and add drained apricots, peppers and onions. Stir fry adding the sauce mixture. Cook till sauce has thickened and cornstarch is incorporated (about 1-2 minutes) and serve.

© 2013 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

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General Tso Eggplant

It appears that the popular dish general Tso Chicken was not a general’s favorite or even originated in China. It’s origin can be traced to one of two Chinese restaurants in New York in the early 70’s as a dish to introduce Hunan style cuisine to the masses although real Hunan dishes are seldom as sweet and way spicier. So General Tso is an Americanized dish with some Hunan notes. My healthy twist is that nothing is deep fried and is not as sweet as some recipes. This is a  pungent, piquant and gingery way to cook eggplant and is gluten-free and vegan.

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General Tso Eggplant

Yield: 2 generous servings


1 eggplant cut into 1 ½ inch strips
½ red onion julienne
6 large Crimini mushrooms sliced
4 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic chopped
2 teaspoons ginger minced
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Dust eggplant, onions and mushrooms with cornstarch. Mix tamari, vinegar, honey, garlic, water, chili flakes and ginger and set aside. Heat a wok or sauté pan with oil. Stir fry eggplant, onion and mushrooms till they start to brown add seasoning mixture and cook another 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice.

© 2013 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com