General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken is my husband Andrew’s absolute favorite Chinese dish. In fact when Andrew and I go out to a Chinese restaurant he doesn’t even have to look at the menu. He always orders the General Tso’s Chicken and Hot and Sour Soup. At almost every Chinese buffet or take-out you will find General Tso’s Chicken on the menu. But would you be surprised to know that this take-out staple is super easy to make in your own kitchen? Ever since I found this recipe a few months ago, Andrew has been bugging to me to try it out. So last week after a long day of work, he came home to a whole Chinese spread to devour. This homemade version of General Tso’s Chicken was absolutely fabulous! The chicken was moist, tender and packed with flavor from the marinade. Fried to crispy golden perfection and tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, this recipe won’t disappoint! Serve over Jasmine rice alongside some pot stickers or egg rolls.

General Tso's Chicken

Yield: 4 servings


For the Chicken:
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 pounds (about 4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

For Coating and Frying:
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups vegetable oil
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds


In a large bowl, combine hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and water in a bowl. Transfer 6 tablespoons of this mixture in a ziptop storage bag and add the chicken; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining mixture.
While the chicken is marinating, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the hoisin mixture and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture is dark brown and thickened. Remove from heat, cover.
To prepare the chicken for coating and frying, in a shallow bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy; set aside.
In a second shallow dish, combine the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and remaining hoisin marinade; mix until it resembles coarse meal.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Toss half the chicken into the egg whites until well coated, then dredge the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer the coated chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Fry half the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and place in oven. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Rewarm the sauce over medium heat until simmering add the fried chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Source: adapted from What’s Cooking Chicago originally from Cook’s Illustrated

One Year Ago: How to Decorate with Royal Icing