Start A Pros­per­ous Chi­nese New Year With A “Chef’s Spe­cialty” Home­made Recipe

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

(NAPSA)-WITH fire­works, danc­ing dragons and fab­u­lous food, the Chi­nese New Year has all the mak­ings of a fes­tive cel­e­bra­tion. Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties from around the world take part in the fes­tiv­i­ties, rec­og­niz­ing the new lu­nar year as a fresh start and a chance to show grat­i­tude for life’s bless­ings. Jan­uary 23, 2012 will mark the start of this year’s cel­e­bra­tion and will usher in the Year of the Dragon (4710). With 15 days to cel­e­brate, Chi­nese New Year pro­vides plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for fam­ily and friends to come to­gether for a de­li­cious meal. Whether it’s a ca­sual potluck or a for­mal af­fair, these gath­er­ings are a spe­cial time to ob­serve the prom­ise of pros­per­ity and the de­lights of the ta­ble. When host­ing a New Year’s party, it’s im­por­tant to stay true to the sym­bol­ism and tra­di­tions of the hol­i­day. Since the fes­ti­val is a time to re­joice with loved ones, hosts can cut down on the amount of time they spend in the kitchen and en­joy more qual­ity time with guests. It might seem eas­ier said than done, but here’s a se­cret: It’s all in the plan­ning. If you choose recipes that are easy to make and can be pre­pared ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip up a meal that is sure to please your guests. Fried food sym­bol­izes gold and pros­per­ity in Chi­nese New Year tra­di­tions, so Gen­eral Tso’s Chicken-a sweet and spicy, deep­fried dish-is the per­fect meal to com­mem­o­rate the hol­i­day. It has be­come a sta­ple at North Amer­i­can Chi­nese restau­rants over the past few decades and is even listed as a “Chef’s Spe­cialty” on some menus. Mak­ing this pop­u­lar restau­rant meal at home may seem like quite the un­der­tak­ing, but in re­al­ity, it’s sim­ple if you make a few tweaks to the recipe. Sim­ple vari­a­tions like us­ing a pre-pack­aged sea­son­ing mix to avoid long mar­i­nat­ing times can make all the dif­fer­ence. Kikko­man’s Kara-çge Soy-gin­ger Sea­soned Coat­ing Mix, for ex­am­ple, in­fuses a gin­ger-soy fla­vor to the dish with­out re­quir­ing any ex­tra mar­i­nat­ing time. And if you cut the chicken into pieces be­fore­hand, you’ll have the dish on the ta­ble in mere min­utes. So get your apron on, and fol­low the recipe for Easy Gen­eral Tso’s Chicken. Serve it over a bed of rice or with veg­eta­bles and your guests will never know just how sim­ple it was to make. For more Chi­nese New Year en­ter­tain­ing tips and recipes, down­load Kikko­man’s of­fi­cial Chi­nese New Year Cel­e­bra­tion Guide at www.kikko­manusa.com.

Easy Gen­eral Tso’s Chicken

Makes 4 serv­ings Prep time: 10 min­utes Cook time: 20 min­utes 1/2 cup light corn syrup 2 ta­ble­spoons su­gar 2 ta­ble­spoons Kikko­man Sea­soned Rice Vine­gar 1 ta­ble­spoon Kikko­man Soy Sauce 1 ta­ble­spoon grated fresh gin­ger 1/2 tea­spoon crushed red pep­per 1 clove gar­lic, minced 1 1/4 pounds skin­less, bone­less thighs 1 pouch Kikko­man Kara-çge Soy-gin­ger Sea­soned

Coat­ing Mix Vegetable oil for fry­ing 1 ta­ble­spoon sesame seeds In a bowl, com­bine corn syrup, su­gar, vine­gar, soy sauce, gin­ger, red pep­per and gar­lic. Rinse chicken and cut into 1-inch square pieces. Place chicken and Kara-çge in a seal­able plas­tic bag and shake to coat chicken. Heat oil in a large skil­let over medium heat. In batches, add chicken and cook about 3 min­utes on each side or un­til browned. Drain on pa­per tow­els. Drain off all but 1 tea­spoon oil from skil­let. Re­turn all the chicken to the skil­let, add corn syrup mix­ture and cook for 2 min­utes, stir­ring con­stantly. Trans­fer to a serv­ing bowl and sprin­kle with sesame seeds.

A restau­rant-qual­ity meal is just 30 min­utes away with Easy Gen­eral Tso’s Chicken.

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