Monday, April 23, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

Honestly, I've never really had General Tso's Chicken before. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen it on the menus at the Chinese restaurants we visit. Even at Panda Express. But I've seen it around the blogosphere and I've actually seen it in the frozen food section at the grocery store. And when it finally came up on my reader from Brown Eyed Baker, I thought it was high time I find out what this dish was all about.

This dish had quite a few steps to follow with the marinade and sauce, to the breading of the chicken. But I'm so glad I gave it a try. I don't have anything to compare this to, but this dish came out really good. Its reminiscent of Orange Chicken because of the breading. I'm definitely making this one again.

Marinade & Sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
4 boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 egg whites
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups oil

1) To make the marinade, whisk together hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and water in a bowl. From this mixture, place 6 tablespoon in a freezer bag and add chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside remaining marinade.

2) While chicken is marinating, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Saute garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add 2 cups of marinade to the skillet and simmer, whisking constantly, until mixture is dark brown and thickened. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.

3) To prepare chicken for coating and frying, whisk egg whites in shallow dish until foamy. Set aside. In another shallow dish, combine cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and remaining marinade. Mix until it resembles coarse meal.

4) Remove chicken from marinade. Pat chicken dry. Place half of the marinaded chicken into the egg whites and toss until well coated. Dredge chicken in cornstarch mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

5) Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it registers 350 deg F. Fry half of the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer cooked chicken onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain the oil. Return oil to 350 deg F before frying the next batch. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

6) Warm sauce over medium heat until shimmering. Turn off the heat and add fried chicken pieces. Toss to coat and serve over white rice.

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