General Tso's Chicken
The restaurant favorite is based on an authentic Hunan dish that translates roughly as "ancestor meeting place chicken." If you like, you can thicken the sauce by whisking 2 teaspoons cornstarch in with the other sauce ingredients. For more sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by 1/2 (3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine, etc).
1 pound chicken thighs, boneless
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
Cornstarch, as needed
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch for thickening sauce, optional
3 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
5 to 10 small dried red chilli peppers, according to taste
3 – 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying, as needed
1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine the chicken cubes with the egg, soy sauce, and pepper. Add enough cornstarch to nicely coat the chicken, using cooking chopsticks or your fingers to mix it in.
2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Thinly slice the green onions.
3. Heat the oil in a wok to between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit (175 - 180 degrees Celsius). Drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and deep-fry until crispy (3 to 4 minutes). Remove the chicken cubes and drain on paper towels.
4. Drain and clean out the wok. Heat 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced green onions and the dried chili peppers. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
5. Add the deep-fried chicken cubes back into the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken cubes are browned (about 1 minute).
6. Push the chicken up to the sides of the wok. Give the sauce a quick restir and add into the middle of the wok. If you added cornstarch to the sauce, stir it continually for 1 - 2 minutes to thicken.
7. Mix the sauce with the chicken. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.
Yield: 3-4 Servings