Friday, September 16, 2011

General Tso Chicken

When it comes to Chinese food, I've never been an “outside the box” type of person, so if we had to decide on takeout, it’s always either; Honey Chicken or General Tso.  I’ll stare at the menu for as long as it takes and while my brain is thinking; “I should try the tofu or beef & broccoli,” the words that part my lips always end in “…and I’ll take the general tso, please.” So no doubt it's a favorite “takeout” dish in my house.

Once you have all the ingredients ready, it’s a very simple recipe and you know exactly what you are putting on your table.

  • 1-½ teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 whole Large Egg White
  • ½ cup Cornstarch
  • 1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken breast
  • Canola, Peanut, Or Vegetable Oil For Frying

  • 2 Tablespoon Peanut, Canola Or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1-½  cups Chicken Broth Or Stock
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoon Chinese Chile Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Dried chilies  (optional)

  • Steamed Rice
  • Steamed Broccoli 

"the whisk is your friend" I use it for the batter and the sauce.

Prep your chicken:In a mixing bowl, Whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, water, egg white, and cornstarch until thick. It will look gummy but smooth. (yes, the batter does look like a weird mud consistency but trust me, it's for the good of the chicken and it will come together)
Add the chicken pieces and stir until all are evenly coated.  Set chicken aside, covered lightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Begin the sauce:
Add the oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic, dried chilies and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minute.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens; lower the heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner partially covered to stay warm.

To fry the chicken:
Heat 1/2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over high heat.
When the oil is shimmering, add a few pieces of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken.
Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. (If desired, add some steamed broccoli to coat with the sauce also.) Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through.
Serve immediately over white rice.

Note: to keep the chicken crispy, only add to the sauce when you are ready to serve.

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