Having read the very engaging book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, I’m fully aware that General Tso’s chicken is not an authentic Chinese dish, but blame it on my Amriki tastebuds, I do love this dish regardless of where it originated. Yet despite my complete adoration for this dish I never ever contemplated making it because it seemed about as complicated as teaching a koala bear the nutritional components of whole grain bread.
Luckily, thanks to the internet, and the cooking bug that has bit me so, I decided to go ahead andtry to recreate my favorite restaurant dish at home. In my journey in trying new things, I’ve learned that the more you try new things, the more confidence you gain and also, let’s say the dish turned out unquestionably awful, worst-case-scenario— we’d eat pizza.
I thought this dish would be extremely time-consuming so I waited to make it on a day I knew K would be home and could distract the kids with wrestling and this little piggy fests while I spent the 2-3 hours this dish would surely need.
I was done in 30 minutes.
And? It was yum. If you love general tso’s chicken at your local take-out spot, this is the down-home comfort food you’ve been craving. I was planning to blog about this recipe after I made it again because I didn’t take any photos of the process, but when I shared the final product on my facebook page and so many of you kindly requested the recipe, I figured I’d share it sooner than later since I’m probably going to hold off on making this again until I’ve made a bit more headway in conquering the baby-weight [and low-fat this dish is not].
|not an artistic capture, but assuredly delicious.|
If you’ve read any of my recipe posts you know I take a little from one site and a little from another and then add a dash of my own ideas, and this recipe is no different. I got the recipe for the chicken batter from this site and adapted the sauce recipe from this site.
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon corn starch [for a separate step]
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups of vegetable oil [to fry]
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs [dark meat important for flavor]
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes [or more depending on your taste]
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
- Scallions, green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, divided
- 2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoon chili paste
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- For marinade: In a bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine, and the egg whites. Coat the chicken to the marinade mixture and let sit for 10 minutes.
- For sauce: Combine the chicken stock, tomato paste, sugar, remaining soy sauce & rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, sugar, and the 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set the sauce aside.
- For batter: Combine cornstarch, flour, baking soda, salt and pepper until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the marinated chicken and toss to coat all the chicken.
- For frying: Heat up the oil in a wok or skillet and when its hot add the chicken in batches [about 2-3 batches] and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through [4-5 minutes]. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Note: As I finished a batch, I rested the chicken on paper towels and inside the oven on the ‘warm’ setting so nothing got too cold and consequently soggy.
- Drain the oil and wipe the wok to remove brown bits, but don’t wash. Reheat at medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil and coat the wok. Add the crushed chili powder and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant [20 seconds], pour in the sauce mixture and stir until thickened about 1-2 minutes.
- Note: I also added a teaspoon of crushed ginger, and liked the additional flavor but probably not necessary.
- Return the chicken to the wok and stir well to coat with sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Garnish with white sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with white rice or fried rice.
Hope this recipe is helpful, if you try it please share, any tried and true recipes you could recommend?