My husband and I are fighting the sick. You know what's awesome when you're feeling crappy? Chinese food! Obviously, Chinese delivery or take out, because who wants to cook while sick? I made this dish a few days ago, but it seems appropriate to post about now, since I had Chinese for lunch. I think only college students do Chinese food twice in one day, so my post from tonight's dinner will probably be Easy Soup That Requires Minimal Effort.
Appetite for China never fails to provide awesome Chinese recipes! This recipe for General Tso's tastes like the real thing (well, as "real" as I've ever had, which isn't saying a lot). The original recipe called for chicken thighs, which I'll use next time, but for this batch I used chicken breast and it worked fine.
This is much better than grocery store buffet General Tso's because even though it's fried, the batter is light and the chicken pieces aren't gristly or fatty. I doubled the sauce (which is reflected in the recipe below), and used chili garlic sauce instead of chili paste, which I couldn't get. The extra sauce is great on rice! The tomato paste makes it tangy, the sugar adds a little sweetness, but I added some extra chilis for a kick. Not only is this good, it's easy. I don't make a lot of fried crispy food, but I'll definitely keep this recipe around for when I do! I served it with some steamed broccoli like in Chinese take out.
I doubled the sauce because I don't like plain rice, so for me its purpose is to soak up tasty sauce. When I make this again, I'll use half the amount of sugar. I thought the sauce was excellent but slightly too sweet.
General Tso's Chicken
slightly adapted from Appetite for China
2 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups vegetable oil (for frying), plus 1 Tbsp for stir-frying
8 dried whole red chilis
1 clove garlic, minced
White sesame seeds, for garnish
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 egg white
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1) To make the marinade, mix the egg whites, soy sauce, and wine in a bowl. Add the chicken and let sit for 10 minutes.
2) To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved.
3) Heat the oil in a wok until it's very hot. While the oil is heating, strain the chicken and discard the marinade. Mix the corn starch with salt and pepper together in a bowl. Put the chicken in (work in batches if needed) and coat each piece completely with the corn starch mixture. To remove excess corn starch, place chicken in a fine mesh strainer and gently shake it.
4) Working in batches if necessary (I did it all in one go), cook the chicken until done, about 4 or 5 minutes. Then drain the oil (carefully!) and wipe out the wok.
5) Return the wok to the heat and add 1 Tbsp of peanut oil. Add the garlic and chilis and stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the sauce and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
6) Return the chicken to the wok and coat well with sauce.
7) Serve over rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.