My Chef's Hat - Baked General Tso's Chicken

I'm a huge fan of Chinese food.  I could probably eat it every day.  It used to be that you get full fast, and are hungry again in a couple hours.   But thankfully they finally stopped using MSG, so that doesn't really happen anymore.  For a long time General Tso's chicken was my favorite dish, but it's a lot of breading, and it's fried, and I'm pretty sure there's not much healthy in the dish.  I've tried to branch out recently, and eat more dishes that don't rely so much on frying. 

I don't make too many Asian dishes at home, because I never feel like I can do it right.  But after my wonderful experience at Cafe 88, I decided it really couldn't be too hard, especially if I could find something that I could sautee, grill or bake, instead of fry.  Pinterest came through again, with a Low Fat Baked General Tso's Chicken recipe.

After reading a few of the reviews I made extra sauce, so I could put it over the rice.  I know brown rice is better for you. I usually ask for it when I eat out, but when I make it at home it tastes too mealy, so I mix it with white rice. 

Here's the official version:

And here's my version on my first attempt:

Okay, I can admit the looks department, it's an epic fail.  But it tastes fantastic!! The sauce was spicy and absolutely delicious. 

I already know what I need to adjust.  I didn't make enough of the sugar/water mixture, and I didn't let it cook down long enough to become like a caramel sauce.  I also didn't have any cornstarch, so it didn't thicken up at all.  I tried using a little flour, but that didn't work.

Will I make it again?  Obviously!!  I'm determined to get the sauce right, and I absolutely love the flavor.

Here is my next attempt, which clearly is much better

Recipe found on Rock Recipes