General Tso’s Chicken

I’m back from my sort of hiatus – hello! Life lately has been downright busy, so I took an unintentional break from posting new recipes. I’m sorry and I’m back! The weather in Washington has been incredibly hot lately, so not only have I not been in the mood to go anywhere near a stovetop, I’ve also just been unmotivated to do ANYTHING other than sit in a pool or in front of an A/C. Between that, travel, and my work life being hectic, I just needed a break. Thanks for sticking with me.

Today’s recipe will definitely cause some eye rolls, because it’s the furthest thing from authentic Chinese food – but it’s been a favorite of mine since I was young (I’m basic, I know). General Tso’s chicken was my all-time favorite takeout item when we’d order from a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. I think it’s because I was a picky eater (still am, sorry bout it) but today I still love how simple and satisfying it can be.

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Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup garlic hoisin sauce
  • Splash of sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch + splash of water
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • Red chili flakes – 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon, depending on your spice preference
  • Oil for frying

How To

  1. Cut chicken up into small pieces and mix in a bowl with the 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Set aside while you heat the oil.
  2. Heat about 3/4″ worth oil (I do this in the deepest pot that I own) until the top of it glimmers. Fry chicken in batches, trying to keep pieces from touching, until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  3. While chicken fries, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and water. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a splash of water, add to sauce, and stir.
  4. Once all chicken is fried, dump all but 2 or so tablespoons of oil from the pan, and add the garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes. Sauté until fragrant, then add all of the chicken. Stir until well mixed, then pour in sauce and continue stirring – sauce will thicken almost immediately. Stir until all pieces are well-coated, then serve immediately over rice with sesame seeds on top.

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