Have you ever dreamt of one of your favorite dishes? While it might be a little embarrassing to admit it, we have and General Tso’s (or Tsao’s) is the mouthwatering star of our dreams. This classic Chinese recipe is known for it’s spicy flavor that has the perfect touch of sweetness, so naturally we order it every time we get Chinese. However, you know just as well as we do that sometimes those cravings hit at any time and we’re not always able to go and get take out, so we decided to try making it at home!
Seriously, we couldn’t believe the delicious result, making it ourselves turned out to be just as good, if not better than even our favorite restaurant, so we encourage you all to try it as well! The trick here is to add some of your initial sauce to the dry coating so you get those juicy, crunchy, extra bits when you bite into your chicken (mhmm). You can marinate your chicken ahead of time, but we love the results we get just by starting with the dry coating, so it’s up to you! Try it out and be amazed, this stuff is fantastic!
General Tso’s Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 8-10 Arbol red chilies, minced
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- peanut oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, and toss to mix together. Set aside.
- Begin the sauce by mixing together chicken stock, soy sauce, dry sherry, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons sauce to dry ingredients and mix until flour mixture is coarse and crumbly.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil over medium heat and add minced ginger, garlic, chilies and scallions.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant, then stir sauce again and pour it into the skillet.
- Bring mixture up to a boil and cook for 1 minute, or until thickened.
- Once reduced slightly, transfer sauce to a bowl and remove skillet from heat, but don’t wipe down with a paper towel.
- Heat 6 cups peanut oil in a large Dutch oven or wok to 350-375º. (Use a thermometer to gauge this.)
- One at a time, place chicken in dry coating mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Press chicken pieces firmly into the mixture to make sure it adheres fully.
- Carefully lower chicken into hot oil (don’t overcrowd them) and cook, flipping occasionally, until crispy and cooked through. 4-6 minutes. Then place chicken on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Note: let oil come back up to 350-375º between batches.
- Once finished, transfer crispy chicken to sauce skillet and return to a low heat.
- Return sauce to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until hot.
- Serve immediately, with white rice and/or veggies.
Recipe adapted from Saveur