General Tso’s Chicken

Do you ever crave takeout food, but don’t feel like going out to get it? Yet somehow you will stop at the grocery store in order to make it yourself? It happens to me more than I can count. At first I feel lazy, but somehow head in the opposite direction. Whatever the explanation, I made this chicken and it was worth all the effort.

And can you believe it? This was my first time cooking with chicken thighs! Unless you are cooking the entire thing, I somehow had it in my head that people only used the breast meat. I am glad I have been set straight.

But as usual I forgot to sprinkle the scallions on top. And then I ate it before I could realize it in order to take more pictures – I’m a hungry girl! Sorry already chopped up scallions, I promise to give you another purpose!

GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN

Serves 4

Ingredients:

CHICKEN

1-1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 egg white

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Canola, Peanut, or Vegetable oil for frying

SAUCE

1 Tbsp peanut, canola or vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce

3 Tbsp sugar

FOR SERVING

1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped

4 whole scallions, thinly sliced

Steamed brown rice

Steamed broccoli

Directions:

  1. Prep the chicken: In a mixing bowl, stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until a thick slurry forms. It will look gummy but smooth.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and stir until all are evenly coated. At first it may appear that it will not come together but it does!
    Set chicken aside, covered lightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Begin the sauce: Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens, lower heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner partially covered to stay warm.
  5. To fry the chicken: Heat 1/2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over high heat.
  6. When the oil is shimmering, add one piece of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
  7. Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken.
  8. Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. (If desired, add some steamed broccoli and cashews to coat with the sauce also.) Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through.
  9. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve immediately over rice.

Source: Tasty Kitchen

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