Thursday, May 3, 2012

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda been....General Tso's Chicken

But WAIT.  Don't let the title deter you from trying this recipe!  It was really great!  Ok, let me explain.

You know when you go into or call your favorite Chinese place for takeout, how you can just taste your favorite dish in your mind?  You know just how your favorite version tastes and when you try to recreate it at home, you work and you plot, and you measure and you taste and you remember all the flavors in that dish.  Then you are sure you nailed it, you get it on a plate and you take that first you are lifting your fork you smell that it doesn't SMELL exactly the same.  You immediately know you biffed this one and decide to taste it anyway and it is really really GOOD!!  But it is NOT the same as your favorite takeout.  Complete disappointment, yet at the same time, it really is good.  Oh the mind games!!!

Now what???

Do I blog it, because it was actually really delish or do you just try again tomorrow after you go to the Asian market?  No, because you wanted to make this dish with ingredients every single reader could obtain, not only if they are in a metro area or had an Asian Market accessible to them.  

Final decision.  Blog it.  There are so many versions of General Tso's Chicken out there, I am sure this isn't alot different than many of them, it just wasn't what MY favorite tastes like!  

So here is what you will need for my version of General Tso's Chicken which my husband says tasted more like a BBQ chicken.  Pffttt.  Do husbands really have to be SO honest ALL the time?  Completely overrated.

(I am going to write this out in parts.  What you need for each part instead of one big ingredient list because SO much is divided.)

2 lbs boneless skinless thighs.  (I used breasts, because I had them on had, but thighs will definitely be better) cut into 1 inch cubes.
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup cornstarch (set aside)
1 cup flour (set aside to roll pieces in before frying)

Put this all in a bowl and mix to combine.  Cover and let sit in the fridge until you are ready for it!

3/4 cup chicken broth/stock
2 T soy sauce
2 T hoisin sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 T cornstarch
1 clove of garlic (grated or incredibly finely minced)

Mix to completely combine and set aside until ready!

3 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
2 dried chili's cut in half for alot of heat left whole for less heat
1 tbsp finely minced ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger

Heat 3 cups of peanut oil to 360 degrees.


While it is heating, take chicken from the fridge and mix in cornstarch you had set aside.  Mix it completely it should be thick.  Put flour in a bowl and roll each piece of chicken lightly in the flour before frying.  Fry in a single layer, and be patient.  It may take you 4 batches or it might take you 6 or 7 batches.  Fry chicken for 3=5 minutes until it is brown and drain on paper towels.  Continue with all chicken!

In another lg pot, add 2 T of oil from your frying pot.  Toss in chili's and green onion saute for 1 minute, constantly moving around.

Now pour in sauce, if the temperature is where it should be, the sauce will almost immediately start to thicken, stir for 10 seconds if it does and toss in chicken.

Stir until coated and serve!  If your heat isn't quite high enough just stir continuously until your sauce does begin to thicken!

Serve with white rice!

Give it a try, it might not have come out to my flavor expectations but it certainly wasn't a bad thing!!

Your "General Tso would be so upset at me"chefwannabe


  1. I have a question: I dislike hoisin sauce A LOT! .. can you recommend a substitute for it that will work in this yummy looking recipe?

    1. Kay, I would try a duck sauce OR maybe a traditional bbq sauce and a bit of extra soy sauce or some chili sauce *which will add some spice*, of course it won't be exactly the same but it might be better and then you better tell me so I can try it!

  2. Oh Jimminy that looks Good!! Like Really GOOD! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. My fave! General Tsao's have to have some please!!!Nettie