Wednesday, January 7, 2015

General Tso's Chicken


I know it's not Chinese food. I know it's not real, but it's still one of my favorite things to order when we get takeout Chinese food. I've loved it since I was a child. I mean, what's not to love about it? It combines sweet, sour, crunchy and chicken into one dish. It's really fantastic.

When I saw this recipe posted on Serious Eats, I knew I had to give it a shot. The Serious Eats food lab does tons of tests for their recipe so I was sure it would turn out great. This recipe certainly didn't disappoint. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's really not. It's the same ingredients for multiple components.

I basically made this recipe exactly as they showed it on Serious Eats and it did not disappoint. I added some extra chilies and extra ginger (because you know me and my love of spice). Give this recipe a try. It's really excellent and if you like General Chicken, I'm sure you will like this homemade version much more than any version you find in your carryout bag.

General Tso's Chicken
Ingredients for marinade
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine (I subbed sake, because that's what I had)
  • 2 Tbsp vodka
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into half inch chuncks
Ingredients for Dredge
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients for Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp dark soy
  • 3 Tbsp chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced scallions +6 scallions reserved, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 8 small arbol chilies
Directions
  1. Whisk egg whit until foamy and add soy sauce, vodka and Shaoxing. Reserve half the marinade in a small bowl and add baking soda and corn starch to the larger bowl. Whisk to combine and coat chicken in the marinade. Set aside.
  2. For the dredge, sift together flour, corn starch, salt and baking powder until combined. Add the reserved marinade and mix until coarse, mealy clumps form.
  3. For the sauce, combine soy sauce, Shaoxing, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch in a small bowl. Sautee ginger, garlic, scallions and chilies in a little oil until fragrant. Add sauce and cook for 1 minute until thickened. Remove to bowl and set aside but do not clean the skillet
  4. Heat about a quart and a half of oil in a wok to 350 degrees for deep frying. Place chicken in the dry coating one piece at a time, coating thoroughly and pressing coating into the chicken. Place chicken into the hot oil and cook through and very crispy. Let drain on a paper towel.
  5.  Add chicken to skillet and return sauce to skillet, folding constantly until all pieces are coated. Garnish with remaining scallions and serve immediately with white rice. 

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