Paint a Pigeon

Recently in the Sunday comic strip Get Fuzzy, Satchel Pooch (a good-hearted dog) was about to dig into his Chinese food when Bucky Katt (a scheming feline) asked him what it was. He replied “General Tso’s Chicken”. Bucky, as he often does, didn’t quite understand the reference and gives Satchel a hard time about eating the chicken of a General. Bucky believes that the General might be mad for stealing his chicken and that Satchel needs to quickly get the General another chicken (even if he needs to paint a pigeon).

Like many of you out there, I love me some General Tso’s chicken. I can’t say I recall when I first had it, but I think it was in the late 1980’s. I thought this was some dish that had long-standing roots in Chinese cuisine. I imagined it harkened back to the time of Zuo Zongtang. As with many “Chinese” dishes that are easily found in the United States, I have been mistaken. While no one really knows where it came from, it is credited in the 1970’s to both a source in Taiwan and another in New York.

George’s General Tso’s Chicken

Photo Dec 21, 5 25 32 PM copy - Featured Size

General Tso’s is not a very healthy dish. The chicken is breaded and then deep-fried. This version, however, is low-carb friendly and doesn’t have that problem.

Photo Dec 21, 11 45 18 AM

That orange is a key to the flavor.

Photo Dec 21, 12 04 15 PM

Marinating the chicken. I have started using vacuum-sealed bags when I can as it helps to infuse the flavor quicker and more deeply.

Photo Dec 21, 5 18 08 PM

Cooking the chicken.

Photo Dec 21, 5 20 39 PM

I decided to add broccoli as the original dish is very often served with it. I used the last of a bag of frozen broccoli and unfortunately it had lots of little pieces in it.

Photo Dec 21, 5 25 38 PM

You will never confuse this dish with the higher-carb kind, but it is flavorful in its own right. Use the fresh broccoli, though, if you choose to add it.

George’s General Tso’s Chicken

prep 15 mins ∙ cook 6 mins ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ difficulty Medium ∙ source Eating Stella Style


  • Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, you’ll need 1 medium orange *
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda (see my comments below)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut in 2″ strips
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced, 3/4 ounce or about 1/4 of a small pepper
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced, 3 large green onions or 1 ounce after trimming
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum, optional


Whisk all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour into a gallon zipper bag along with the chicken strips. Gently knead the bag to evenly distribute the marinade. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving any excess marinade (see my comments below).

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Cook and stir the chicken 2 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the bell pepper, green onions and marinade. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is done. It may not take quite that long. If you’re using the xanthan gum, add it at this time. Sprinkle it lightly over the chicken and stir in.

* George called for 2 tablespoons.

Per Serving: 291 Calories; 12g Fat; 40g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

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Categories: Chicken2, Chinese, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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