The Chinese restaurants around us aren’t great, so when we want any kind of Asian cuisine, we usually make it ourselves. Lauren brought home the book, The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home (p70), and I found a recipe for General Tso’s Chicken I wanted to try.
I have made a lot of Asian inspired dishes recently, and this one is mine (and Lauren’s) favorite, hands down. In the directions there is an optional step: “To get the chicken extra crispy, allow the chicken to drain and cool for 5 minutes, then put the chicken back in the wok or deep fryer, to fry for about another 30 seconds, until golden brown”, do it! Taking the time to do this little step is well worth it. The crispness of the chicken is amazing!
I can’t say enough about this recipe, after typing this post, I have decided to make General Tso’s Chicken tomorrow night.
General Tso’s chicken
- 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbs Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tbs sriracha
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tbs chili paste
- 1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbs white rice vinegar
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp chili sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups of peanut or vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tbs for stir-frying
- 5 Thai chillies or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- *original recipe does not call for sriracha
- MARINATE THE CHICKEN: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sriracha and egg whites. Add the chicken and stir gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- In a small dry pan, toast the sesame seeds for about 1 minute, until they become lightly brown and aromatic. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
- PREPARE THE SAUCE: In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, chili paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, chili sauce, sriracha sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set aside.
- Toss the 1 1/2 cups cornstarch with the salt and pepper in a large bowl or deep plate. Coat the marinated chicken in the cornstarch mixture and shake off any excess before frying. Set the temperature of the deep fryer at 350 deg
- If you do not have a deep fryer: Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot until it registers 350F on an instant read thermometer, or about medium heat.
- Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the first batch of chicken cubes and deep fry until lightly golden on the outside and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. (Optional: To get the chicken extra crispy, allow the chicken to drain and cool for 5 minutes, then put the chicken back in the wok or deep fryer to fry for about another 30 seconds, until golden brown.)
- Heat the wok or skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the remaining 1 tbs oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the Thai peppers and garlic, stir fry until tender and fragrant. Pour in the sauce mixture and heat briefly to thicken.
- Return the chicken to the wok and stir well to coat with sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds and scallions and serve.