Authentic General Tso’s Chicken

by Sheryl

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 6 people

Incredibly tender, crispy chicken tossed in a sweet, savoury sauce with a slight hit of spiciness and served with steamed white rice. This Authentic General Tso’s Chicken is one of a cult favourite classic Chinese-American dishes. Super easy to throw together, impressive, and comes together in no more than forty minutes!

Ingredients

CHICKEN:

2¼ pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1 to 2” chunks
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
2 Egg yolks
⅔ c. corn starch
3½ c. peanut oil for frying, plus an extra tablespoon for the marinade mixture

SAUCE:

¾ c. chicken stock unsalted
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons rice vinegar can use Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
¼ c. brown sugar we like dark

STIR-FRYING:

6 small dried red chiles arbul or Thai red peppers work well, ends snipped and slightly cut down the middle
6 tablespoons peanut oil for frying (about 1/2 c.)
2 teaspoons ginger fresh, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil

FOR SERVING:

1 tablespoon scallions green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
2 c. steamed white rice

How to make Authentic General Tso’s Chicken

Step 1: In a bowl, place the sauce ingredients. Whisk well until the cornstarch has dissolved and is completely mixed. Set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, add the pieces of chicken along with the soy sauces, a tsp peanut oil, and egg yolks. Using two large wooden spoons, mix well before adding in the cornstarch. Mixing again until the pieces of chicken are well coated with the marinade mixture.

Step 3: In a wok on a wok ring, heat about 3 1/2 cups oil over high heat. Alternately, you can use a heavy 12-inch saucepan. Once the oil reached 375 degrees F, carefully add the coated pieces of chicken (working in batches). Cook the chicken pieces for approximately 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. To a platter lined with paper towels, transfer the cooked chicken pieces and set them aside.

Step 4: Allow the oil is cool for a little before discarding. Using paper towels, wipe the wok clean and put it back on the wok ring on the stove. Add the remaining 6 tbsp oil to the wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, garlic, and ginger once the oil is shimmering and smoking very slightly. Stir fry for about 30 seconds before adding in the sauce. Using a wooden spoon, stir continuously and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Step 5: Return the chicken to the wok and toss to coat with the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 2 minutes until the chicken pieces are heated through.

Step 6: Turn off the heat, then stir in the sesame oil.

Step 7: To a serving platter, transfer the chicken with the sauce. Serve with steamed white rice garnished with sesame seeds and chopped green onions/scallions. Enjoy!

Notes:

1. For this recipe, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts but boneless, skinless chicken thighs are better!

2. After adding the cornstarch to the marinade chicken, it will take a few minutes of mixing using large spoons/utensils. It is okay if the chicken will seem a bit ‘gloopy’ as it will get crisp in the process. Not overly crisp but the chicken will get a nice golden crust. Make sure to test one chicken to check if the chicken is cooked through.

3. Fry the chicken in a few batches and to prevent them from sticking to each other, use metal tongs or large utensils to move the chicken.

4. For mild heat, ensure to slit the peppers before adding them to the oil. Or leave them out if you prefer zero heat.

5. If the wok is not available, you can use a 12-inch skillet or saucepan. But if using a wok make sure to use a wok ring to prevent any spill of the hot oil.

6. If using a wok and wok ring, it best to use it over a flame but it will work on a gas stove or an electric stove, too.

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