the best general tso’s chicken

Have you heard of General Tso’s Chicken? Much like Singapore Noodles which you can find in many Chinese restaurants in America (yet we, in Singapore, have never heard of), General Tso’s Chicken is named after Tso Tsung-t’ang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader from Hunan Province in China. Naturally the folks from Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province have never heard of General Tso’s Chicken either.

All that confusion aside, I am glad someone did come up with this dish which is really tasty. (It is a pity I can’t say the same for Singapore Noodles but that is a story for another day.) The first time I had General Tso’s Chicken was in a little restaurant in New York City’s Chinatown. I thought it was delicious but wondered why it had such a peculiar name. Hence, the research to find out how this dish got its name. If you are interested, you can always have a read about it here.

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In any case, if you are tired of the same-old same-old Sweet and Sour and other typical Chinese dishes, you can give this dish a try.

It goes fabulously with rice as it is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and very fragrant. YUMMY!

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I cooked this dish with the chicken thighs I had bought from Purely Fresh online grocery store. The butchers at Purely Fresh are fabulous. The fresh chicken thighs have been de-boned and were delivered chilled. They will also remove the chicken skin if you wish too!

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Ordering from Purely Fresh is easy too. Simply select what you’d like to purchase, leave instructions on how you want your meat or seafood to be processed, select the delivery time and confirm the order. 

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With many of us working full time, it is not easy to find time to visit the wet market. Since Purely Fresh owns and manages wet markets, you don’t have to go to the wet markets anymore!

So let me show you how to cook General Tso’s Chicken!

First, make the marinade. Whisk the egg white until it is broken down and becomes slightly foamy. 

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Add the dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and vodka and whisk to combine. The vodka adds both flavor and crispiness to the chicken but if you do not wish to add vodka, you can substitute with more Shaoxing wine.

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Add the baking soda and corn starch and whisk to combine.

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Pour half of the marinade into the bowl containing the chicken. Reserve the remaining marinade. Using a spoon or your fingers, mix to coat all the chicken. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the chicken can absorb the flavors of the marinade.

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To make the dry coat, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous. Add the reserved marinade into this and whisk until the mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set this aside.

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Make the sauce by combining the dark soy, Shaoxing wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set this aside.

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Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture. Deep fry the chicken until cooked through. Place on paper towels to drain. Set aside.

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In a skillet, saute garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add the spring onion and dried chili and fry for about 2 minutes on medium heat to wilt the spring onion and chili.

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Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir so the sugar does not burn.

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Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken into the skillet. Toss to coat the chicken.

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Serve immediately with rice!

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Enjoy!

The Best General Tso’s Chicken
Serves 4
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For the Marinade
  1. 1 egg white
  2. 2 tablespoons (30ml) dark soy sauce
  3. 2 tablespoons (30ml) Shaoxing wine (or sherry)
  4. 2 tablespoons (30ml) vodka (or Shaoxing wine)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 3 tablespoons corn starch
  7. 1 pound (500g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks
For the Dry Coating
  1. 1/2 cup (62.5g) flour
  2. 1/2 cup (65g) cornstarch
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Sauce
  1. 3 tablespoons (45ml) dark soy sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons (30ml) Shaoxing wine
  3. 2 tablespoons (30ml) Chinese rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  4. 3 tablespoons (45ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  5. 4 tablespoons sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon (5ml) roasted sesame seed oil
  7. 1 tablespoon corn starch
  8. 2 teaspoons (10ml) peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
  9. 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  10. 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (about one 1-inch piece)
  11. 1 packet spring onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
  12. 8 small dried chili, soaked to re-hydrate
Instructions
  1. To make the marinade, whisk the egg white until it is broken down and becomes slightly foamy.
  2. Add the dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and vodka and whisk to combine. The vodka adds both flavor and crispiness to the chicken but if you do not wish to add vodka, you can substitute with more Shaoxing wine.
  3. Add the baking soda and corn starch and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour half of the marinade into the bowl containing the chicken. Reserve the remaining marinade. Using a spoon or your fingers, mix to coat all the chicken. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the chicken can absorb the flavors of the marinade.
  5. To make the dry coat, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous. Add the reserved marinade into this and whisk until the mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set this aside.
  6. Make the sauce by combining the dark soy, Shaoxing wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set this aside.
  7. Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture. Deep fry the chicken until cooked through. Place on paper towels to drain. Set aside.
  8. In a skillet, saute garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add the spring onion and dried chili and fry for about 2 minutes on medium heat to wilt the spring onion and chili.
  9. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir so the sugar does not burn.
  10. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken into the skillet. Toss to coat the chicken.
  11. Serve immediately with rice.
Adapted from seriouseats
Adapted from seriouseats
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/
DISCLAIMER: While this post was brought to you by Purely Fresh, I am really grateful to know that I can buy such fresh produce in Singapore and have them delivered to me. Purely Fresh is the way to shop for busy moms like myself!




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