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It has been quite the week for me. I just returned home from a cruise and I am trying to get caught up on everything before me and the hubby leave to Denver for the weekend. We are going to see the Blackhawks vs the Avalanche Hockey game! I was so busy today that I wanted to be able to throw something quick and easy into the crockpot. The ingredients seemed good and it was a weight watchers recipe. And after I forgot about my awesome brownies in the oven last night, I didn’t want another recipe fail! This recipe was a bummer. This chicken had no flavor. It was such a huge disappointment. And it is so hard to have something that you anticipate being so good flop. I am not sure if the recipe called for too much chicken broth and the other flavors in the ingredients didn’t pull through or what, but this was very bland.

I usually have at least one or two recipes that don’t turn out on my blog a week. But with a busy life I don’t have time to post them or rate them. But we all have recipes that fail. So I am going to try to post them when I can and I would love to hear feedback on how you would change the recipe. And sorry that the picture is low quality. I lack motivation to edit a picture on a recipe that didn’t turn out. But you can tell that it isn’t what you expect in General Tsao’s chicken. It just looks bland. Not saucy at all. Oh well. I was able to dump out the sauce. Shred the chicken. Add BBQ sauce. And have a delicious BBQ salad!

Shredded chicken in a black bowl.

Rating: 1 star  Difficulty of Recipe: 1 star
Review:  I am definitely going to try to change some things around to try to have it taste better and more what I would expect. Maybe try reducing the chicken broth to bring out some more of the other flavors. What would you change:

I really wish I had made this for dinner. The sauce is so thick and the flavor is amazing! It would have been just as easy to throw into the crockpot and tastes just like it is from a restaurant!

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Slow Cooker General Tsao's Chicken

By: Alyssa Rivers
The sauce is so thick and the flavor is amazing! It would have been just as easy to throw into the crockpot and tastes just like it is from a restaurant!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings



  • Spray slow cooker with non stick cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts in bottom.
  • Combine in separate bowl, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, white wine vinegar, ginger, garlic cloves and pepper flakes.
  • Pour over the chicken and cook for 4-6 hours in slow cooker on low.
  • When finished, take chicken out of slow cooker and cut into chunks. With the juice in the slow cooker, whisk in the cornstarch slowly to thicken the sauce.
  • Return chicken to slow cooker and heat through.
  • Garnish with scallions and serve over white rice.


Calories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 17gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 377mgPotassium: 324mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 112IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian American, Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
Chicken garnished with green onion and sitting on white rice.
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About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The General Tsao’s chicken recipe does not say how much sugar. It is not included in the ingredient list.


  2. The listed ingredients does not list SUGAR & in step 2 it is added after soy sauce. If so :How much sugar? Thanks

  3. Hi, How much sugar is needed? Step 2 is Combine in seperate bowl, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, white wine vinegar, ginger, garlic cloves and pepper flakes. – but no mention of how much sugar. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for letting me know. 2 Tablespoons of sugar! Hope you enjoy your meal! Xo

      Your Recipe Critic,

  4. The instructions say “combine chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar”. I don’t see sugar even listed as one of the ingredients. Perhaps that’s part of the problem.

  5. I have plenty of fails too! It’s hard because I post seven recipes each week, and if I have my week planned and two are flops, I have to figure out how to fill out the menu. I have plenty of nice photos of dishes I made before tasting them and realizing they were no good! I sometimes wonder if that’s how dishes make it online and then the recipes don’t work. Food can photograph really well but not taste as good as it looks.

  6. My hubby was just watching the Hawks and Avs last night on tv. How fun that you are going to Denver for the game!!! And I love that you shared a recipe that didn’t turn out. It is always a bummer to have something not work the way you wanted, but at least you didn’t throw it out. It always bothers me to throw away an entire recipe.

  7. I totally get what you mean about that anticipation of something being really good and then it turns out not to be! I had it recently with a curry I made, but then I guess we all have to have recipe fails sometimes! The BBQ salad sounds so good though! 🙂

  8. OH my gosh. I’m so glad you posted this because I had TWO recipe fails this week too!!!!! I was so sad! I HATE it when a recipe you’re so excited for turns out nasty! Glad you got a yummy bbq chicken salad out of it though! And have fun in Denver at the hockey game! Sounds like so much fun! Hugs!

    ~Jen @ Yummy. Healthy. Easy.

  9. Oh I hate recipe fails! It happens to the best of us 🙂 Then I always wonder what on earth I did wrong, because someone else obviously liked it. A BBQ salad doesn’t sound good though. At least you could salvage it!