General Tso Chicken

A classic that’s always a favorite! Crispy fried chicken bites tossed in sweet and sticky hoisin, soy, ginger and szechuan glaze. Served over steamed jasmine rice.

I love General Tso chicken its super simple and is ready to eat in under thirty! General Tso preparation is simple it is chicken cutlets that are cut into bite sized pieces, breaded and fried till they are super crispy. Then simmered in a sticky sauce that latches onto the chicken. General Tso sauce is known for its garlic and ginger forward sticky consistency that gets a healthy kick of spice from crushed red pepper flakes or in this recipes case szechuan chili flakes. It similar to your favorite sticky glazes like sweet chili or even kung pao minus the vegetables and the rest of the heat. This chicken unlike dishes like almond or bourbon chicken is breaded in a crispy blend or baking soda, cornstarch and rice flour for maximum crunch then tossed in the sauce. While the others mentioned are seared and simmered in the sauce. For this recipe I used my standard go- to recipe that’s better than any store bought sauce. Check out my tips and tricks below for the best at home General Tso chicken. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.

TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST GENERAL TSO CHICKEN:

quick boil: for most of my sticky sauces i like to start them all together in a measuring cup giving it a nice stir so the sugar doesn’t sit at the bottom. the key to getting perfect velvety and sticky glaze is pouring the glaze into a hot pan bringing it up to a instant boil then immediately tossing in the chicken. this works because the cornstarch once it feels the heats snaps into action and starts to thicken the entire liquid while still giving the sugar time to dissolve. this tip doesn’t work on recipes that need to be reduced or have an excess of liquid.

add some freshness: there are a lot of fried elements, sticky sugary sauce and even some heat to tame. so freshness like green onions and cilantro are always welcomed even basil and mint are a great addition. the oils in the herbs help coat your palette and reset for each bite.

have the rice on standby: the rice is the ultimate do ahead for this recipe which helps it get on the table even quicker. before i even start the chicken i throw on a pot of rice. once it’s done i release the initial steam, cover the pot and let it sit on the warm burner. the starch can retain heat for a crazy amount of time.

hot, hot grease: the key to general tso chicken, sweet and sour chicken or sweet chili chicken is a good crust. the batter you coat your chicken with needs to be incredibly crispy to stand up to the glaze. so it doesn’t immediately become soggy. that’s why you use corn starch, baking soda and rice flour. they all get super hard when fried. also your batter could be perfect but cooking temperature matters too low and your chicken will retain the oil and you’ll never get a crispy crust. too high and the chicken may not cook.

brown bag: to make clean up even quicker i reuse brown paper bags from the stores that way i don’t have to dirty up an extra dish. then i just toss the whole thing out once i’m done. it saves my counter tops from being coated in flour and saves my hands from extra dishes.

shallow or deep fry: for this dish use what’s convenient. if you have a leftover pot that you used for fried chicken one night, use that. if you have the deep fryer out from late night french fries, use that. if you don’t have anything out and need to start fresh you can use a shallow pan and use just enough to cover half of the chicken and flip.

SIMILAR INGREDIENTS TO:

  1. STIR FRY CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI
  2. STICKY LEMON THAI CHILI FRIED CHICKEN
  3. SPICY TEMPURA CHICKEN

ENJOY THIS RECIPE WITH:

  1. BOURBON CHICKEN RAMEN BOWL
  2. BANH MI SANDWICHES
  3. STICKY HOISIN AIR FRIED GREEN BEANS

INGREDIENTS

  • Canola Oil, for frying
  • 5 Chicken Cutlets, cubed
  • 2Tb Garlic Powder
  • 1Tb Salt
  • 1tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1Tb Black Pepper

SAUCE:

  • 1/3c Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4c Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2c Soy Sauce
  • 3Tb Brown Sugar
  • 1Tb Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 2TB Scezuah Peppers
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, minced

COATING:

  • 1/2c Cornstarch
  • 2Tb Baking Powder
  • 1/2c Rice Flour
  • 1/2c Flour
  • 1 Egg

DIRECTIONS:

  • MARINADE CHICKEN: Cube the chicken into bite sized pieces. marinade the chicken by combining salt, pepper. ginger and garlic powder. Toss together and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • COAT CHICKEN: To make the coating for the chicken crack an egg a toss it with the chicken. Combine all the flours, cornstarch and baking soda into a brown bag. Add in the chicken, close the bag and shake.
  • HEAT THE OIL: Heat enough oil to cover the chicken. Once the grease is at 375F Add in about 10 pieces at a time. Cooking i batches repeat the process till all the chicken is cooked.
  • MAKE SAUCE: To make the sauce add all the ingredients listed in a hot pan once it comes to a boil add in cooked chicken and toss. Let the chicken sit for 3-5 minutes. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions and cilantro.

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