General Tso’s Chicken

April 18, 2010

Having been wanting General Tso’s Chicken for a long time, I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer for Chris Kimball to tackle the recipe.  Listed below is my first attempt.

Overall it was a success. 4-stars judged on it’s own taste, but only 3-1/2 if you were expecting the exact flavors of General Tso’s Chicken. The techniques in the recipe below work well. The way the sauce becomes translucent is magical to watch. The sweet and hot flavors blended nicely together, but the flavors were a little too muted.  A nice first step in my path to independence from the MSG of my local Chinese restaurant.

Not a perfect copy, but very delicious.

Sauce Recipe:

1/3 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/4 cup sherry wine or white wine
10 ounces chicken broth

Cornstarch slurry recipe:

3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium preferred
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch, in bag

Other Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, (cut into 1” chunks)
1 1/4 cups green onions, sliced
8 small dried chilies, or 2 tsp pepper flakes

  1. Preheat 4 cups vegetable oil in a dutch oven over high heat to 365-degrees. Prepare wire rack over rimmed backing sheet and preheat oven to 200-degrees.
  2. Wisk together all sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Beat egg in separate large bowl. Mix in chicken, 3 tablespoons cup soy sauce and pepper.
  4. In batches of 7 to 8 chicken pieces, put in zip-lock bag with corn starch, shake until well coated.
  5. Fry each batch until crispy, about 6 minutes.
  6. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in 200-degree oven until all batches are finished. Repeating from step 4 until all chicken is fried, adding corn starch as needed.
  7. In a separate skillet add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and heat until very hot. Add green onions and hot peppers and stir fry about 30 seconds.
  8. Re-stir sauce mixture, and then add to pan with onions and peppers, cook until thick.
  9. Add chicken to sauce in wok, and cook until all is hot and bubbly. The quicker this is done the crispier the chicken stays. Serve immediately over rice.

Rating: 4-star.
Cost: $8. (I made with 3-pounds of chicken)
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium/High.
Started: 5:30 pm. Dinner Time:  7:15.

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