While we are all ecstatic for the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi this weekend, I can’t help to feel it is a bit bittersweet. Sure, I’m thrilled to be thrust back into the universe that we’ve grown up with, with storylines and characters that are new but also familiar. There’s so much to look forward to. But I can’t wane my focus from Carrie Fisher. This is the last film she’ll really be in. Our princess. Our badass. Our general. I can’t wait for the movie, but I also don’t want it to come at all. Because as long as it hasn’t been released yet, I haven’t seen the last of her.
I had to make a recipe for the movie. I really couldn’t not. But I wanted it to be a little nod to the lady we love. Racking my brain, I finally settled on General O’s Chicken (a play on General Tso’s Chicken). I wanted it to be the best recipe ever. Like, THE BEST. She deserves no less. The thing is… I’ve never made it before. I start researching recipes and came across this recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt at The Food Lab/Serious Eats. Well damn. He tested every last inch of this recipe fifty ways from… whatever the hell that expression is. There’s no way I’m making a better chicken recipe than this. So I used it. And I followed it to a tee. And it was… I have no words. “Incredible” doesn’t do it justice.
In order to fit in a few more Star Wars puns, as is in my nature, I took this chicken perfection and turned it into a salad. It’s not blasphemy if there’s bacon. (Ooop, hold on, I’m tweeting that.)
So below you’ll find my Carrie Fisher-inspired recipe for General O’s Chicken Salad (with Wonton Solo Strips and Luke-warm Bacon Dressing). My heart is also somewhere in there.
Go watch the movie, it comes out this Friday, December 15th. (Technically the night before if you got your tickets early enough.) And make the recipe, it’s insane. And maybe cry a little with me. Happy and sad tears, all mixed together. Maybe that’s my next recipe. Tear cocktail.
General O’s Chicken Salad (with Wonton Solo Strips and Luke-warm Bacon Dressing)
one batch (life-changing) General Tso’s Chicken (recipe here)
spring mix greens
red onion, sliced
red bell pepper, sliced
6 slices peppered maple bacon, cut into half-inch pieces
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar (I used a chardonnay-based vinegar)
½ tbsp dijon mustard
Once you’ve made the chicken, which is a bit labor intensive but nothing has ever been more worth it, whip up the salad dressing. In a skillet, heat olive oil and bacon over medium. After 3 or 4 minutes, add in scallions and garlic. Continue to stir until bacon is crispy. Once cooked, remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Whisk in mustard and vinegar. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once you have finished cooking your chicken, save your oil. You aren’t done with it. Slice your wonton wrappers into thin strips. Cook in oil over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove to another paper towel-lined plate.
To build your salad, lay out a bed of greens. Top with peppers and onions. Place as much chicken as you can handle on top, followed by your wonton strips. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon pieces and then drizzle a spoonful or two of the vinaigrette on top.
This salad is best eaten with lightsaber chopsticks. You know you own them.