General Tso Chicken

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mr. Schwartz loves General Tso's Chicken.  He pretty much orders it every time we get Chinese food.  I'm more of a Beef with Broccoli kinda girl but, sometimes I try to be a good wifey and make him happy and I think this really did.  His review: "good but it could be sweeter."  So, if you really want to make it authentic--form a real General Tso Chicken aficionado--you will need more sugar.  I thought it was tasty the way it was.  

Anyway, enjoy another Chinese Take Out Fake Out.  

Musical Selection: Makin' Plans by THE Miranda Lambert.  My sister in law, a couple of girl friends and I just bought tickets for her show in September and we are pumped!!! This song is one of my all time favorites by Miranda.  Reminds me of my Mr. Schwartz.
Start by preparing the veggies.  I'm not sure if asparagus is really used in Chinese cooking but I needed to use it up. I thought it was pretty tasty.  If you don't have asparagus just use the broccoli.
Wash your jasmine rice.  I think I have hopped up on my Jasmine Rice Soapbox on here before but really its so much better than minute and regular long grain white rice. Give it a shot, it will not disappoint.
Then start with the chicken marinade/slurry.  Not quite sure what to call this but you let the chicken sit in it for about 20 minutes.  Here is the toasted sesame seed oil.
Corn starch.
Soy sauce.
Egg white....
Gross chicken.  Am I the only crazy person who hacks apart their chicken until I find it eatable?  Goodness, this is gross.  I take my kitchen sheers and just cut away.  I found this is the easiest way to trim off the fat and all of the other grossness that lives on chicken breasts.
Much better.  Pretty chicken.  I understand I flipped it over as well but, really isn't this more appetizing?
Cut it into bite sized pieces.  To be honest, I probably would cut them into smaller pieces so that they cook quicker.
Toss it into the slurry mixture.  This will look weird.  It's okay, it will all work out.
Pop some Press and Seal (we do not buy plastic wrap in the Schwartz Household. No reason to, it doesn't work.) and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare your sauce.  And start cooking your rice.
Start with a little canola or veg oil.
Add plenty of garlic.
Peel your ginger.  First time ever for me buying and using fresh ginger.  I am now addicted. Its so amazing.
Since it was the first time, I grated mine in with our citrus zester tool thing.
Make sure to scrape all the goodness of the back of it.
Let the garlic and the ginger get to know each other in the pan for a bit....until the garlic begins to turn toasty brown.
In a separate bowl, add chicken stock...
Soy sauce....
Hot sauce.  As you can see I used Sriracha Sauce.
Brown sugar....
Then pour it into the sauce pan where your garlic and ginger have been getting friendly.
Stir it up....
Once the heat gets to it, it will get thick quick.  If it gets thicker than you would like, add a little more chicken stock.
Heat up a frying pan with a good amount of oil for the chicken.
Add your chicken one layer at a time.
Cook until it is golden brown on all sides. I did mine in batches.  I did the first batch then moved it to a paper towel lined plate while I did the second batch.
I then returned them all to the pan so that they could cook fully.
At this point you will want to start on the veggies (in a new pan--the chicken is still cooking at this point)
Add the veggies to the pan.
Okay yes, this recipe is not for the faint of heart.  Look at this full stove.  Pretty chaotic but definitely doable.
Once all of the chicken looks like this, you are ready to sauce.  This should be a last minute-before serving thing.  You want the chicken to have a bit of the crunch left on from pan frying but to coat it in the sauce.  It is a delicate dance this one is.
Pour on the sauce.
Stir to coat.
Serve the chicken over the rice, layered with the veggies.  I also like to add sesame seeds to pretty much everything so don't mind them!

Enjoy!  I promise this one is worth the work and clean up.  : )

General Tso Chicken 

Coating for Chicken:
1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg white
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch
3 large chicken breasts (boneless skinless)

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons (peeled and grated) ginger
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon (or more depending on your taste) Hot Sauce such as Sriracha
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar

For serving:
Broccoli and or Asparagus
Jasmine (or white) rice

Prep the chicken:
Stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until a thick slurry forms. It will look strange and gummy. 
Add the chicken, cut into bite sized pieces and stir until all are evenly coated.
Set chicken aside, cover and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic starts to brown but not burn.
In a different bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens, lower heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner covered to stay warm.  If the sauce becomes too thick, thin out with a bit of chicken stock.

To fry the chicken:
Heat  4 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. 
When the oil is shimmering, add one piece of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, add a tablespoon of oil into a separate frying pan.  Add broccoli/asparagus that is cut into bite sized pieces into the pan.  Cook until tender yet crisp on medium high heat. 
Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through. Make sure to not cook this too long as you want to keep part of that crispiness that you developed while pan frying.  
Serve on top of rice, layered with veggies.  

Adapted from: here

1 comment :

  1. This was absolutely delicious! Read the whole recipe through carefully before beginning. We decided to just pan fry the chicken pieces and not let them get so brown to save time. I doubled the recipe and if we had browned each piece, it would have taken a long time. Highly recommend.


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