Thursday, December 15, 2011

General Tso’s Chicken

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal, 2 to 3 as a main entree

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast sliced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup cornstarch
 Peanut or vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon for stir-frying

2 cloves garlic, minced.

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
Scallions, green parts thinly sliced, for garnish

2 cups chicken stock, or substitute water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sugar

1. In a large bowl, coat the chicken in cornstarch.

2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.

3) Mix 1/2 cup cornstarch with hot water and add to sauce gradually and stir until thickened.  Set the sauce aside.

3. In a large bowl or deep plate, toss the 1 1/2 cups cornstarch with the salt and pepper. Coat the marinated chicken in the cornstarch and shake off any excess before frying.

4. Heat the 3 cups of peanut or vegetable oil in large frying pan. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the first batch of chicken cubes and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

5. Drain the oil into a heatproof container and save for discarding. Wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove any brown bits, but don’t wash.

6. Reheat the pan  over medium-high heat. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic and stir-fry until just fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7. Return the chicken to the wok and stir well to coat with sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Garnish with white sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with white rice and vegetables.


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