Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 350: General Tso's Chicken

This is my favorite thing to get when we go out for Chinese food.  I very rarely order anything else.  But since we've had to tighten our purse strings (just like the rest of America) we don't eat out much at all anymore.  Besides, I like the challenge of finding quality restaurant recipes I can make at home.  I've tried several versions of this one over the last few years, and all of them have fallen flat until now.  I found this at 

General Tso's Chicken
12" dutch oven

Marinade and Sauce

1/2 cup hoisin sauce or tomato paste
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Coating and Frying

3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups vegetable oil

For the marinade and sauce: Whisk hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and water in bowl. Combine 6 tablespoons hoisin mixture and chicken in zipper-lock bag; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oil a 10" dutch oven over a full spread of coals until shimmering. Cook garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups hoisin mixture and simmer, whisking constantly, until dark brown and thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and keep sauce warm.

For coating and frying: Whisk egg whites in shallow dish until foamy. Combine cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and remaining hoisin mixture in second shallow dish until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Toss half of chicken with egg whites until well coated, then dredge chicken in cornstarch mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken to plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over a full spread of coals until oil registers 350 degrees. Fry half of chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to paper towel-lined plate. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.

To serve: Warm sauce until simmering. Add crispy chicken and toss to coat. Serve over rice.  Serves 4.

The Finished Product

The Review
If I hadn't made this myself, I would have sworn it was take out.  It was fabulous!  The sauce was perfect.  My little ones thought it was a little too spicy, so next time I'll tone it down for them, but I would have liked a few more red pepper flakes.  You can use tomato paste instead of the hoisin sauce, but I wouldn't recommend it.  The hoisin sauce adds such great flavor that its worth it.  I found the hoisin sauce at my local Smith's (Kroger) store, so its not a specialty item.  This should go on top of your must try list!  Grade A.

1 comment:

  1. We will have to try it. Arlana's favorite food is non-spicy Chinese food. Thanks


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