General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

I've never had General Tso's chicken, I can never resist Kung Pao chicken when I am ordering at a Chinese restaurant.  But this recipe is pretty close, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I didn't deep fry the chicken; I sauteed it instead in some oil, then drained the excess oil before finishing the dish.  I did add water chestnuts to it when I made it, since I wasn't serving it over rice. I'm not crazy about it, I like my go-to Kung Pao recipe better. But it was fun trying a new dish. : ) 

General Tso's Chicken

1 large egg
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sherry
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper
5 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin
2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
3/4 teaspoon red chili oil  OR sriracha OR chili paste
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1 tablespoom palm or brown sugar

8 small dried red chiles, preferably Thai chiles
5 scallions, white parts only, sliced 1/2-inch thick

Crack the egg into a medium-sized bowl, and lightly beat it with a fork. Add the soy sauce, sherry, salt, white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the corn starch, and stir until combined. Add the chicken meat, and toss well. Set mixture aside for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, red chili oil, garlic, ginger, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the oil into a large wok set over high heat. Bring the oil up to a temperature of 350°F. While the oil warms up, place a sheet of wax paper on a large sheet pan, and add 3 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add the pieces of chicken on top, and toss until they are completely coated. Add an additional tablespoon of cornstarch if needed.

When the oil is ready, shake off any excess cornstarch on the chicken, and carefully add them to the wok. Cook, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until browned, two to three minutes. Turn off the heat, and remove chicken pieces with the slotted spoon, and drain on some paper towels.

Remove all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Turn the heat to high, and when the oil is just starting to smoke, add the chiles, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the scallions, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken pieces back to the wok, and toss constantly for a minute until the pieces are coated in the chile and scallion oil. Pour in the sauce, and stir-fry until the pieces are evenly coated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

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