I’ve made a nice handful of Asian dishes already for my blog, but the one that I hadn’t made yet, was my own personal all-time favorite – – General Tso’s Chicken!
Gawd I love that stuff!
We used to LOVE ordering from a place called “Wok ‘n Roll” back in LaPorte, Indiana, where we used to live. They have THE BEST Asian food I’ve ever had!
Even better than any Chinese restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown! We have had serious Chinese food withdrawals ever since moving to the east coast!
So it was about time that I just bit the bullet and made it myself. After doing my homework and searching all over the internet, I finally had a scribbled down recipe with all of the elements that I preferred in mine and that sounded like what I wanted, and gave it a shot!
Once I had all of my prep completely done, everything mixed, chopped, grated, cut and organized, everything went really quickly and easily! This does take a bit of time, but it isn’t difficult at all. Just get an early start is all. 😉
Just some of the ingredients to get started. The chicken has been cut and is marinating in a bit of fresh-squeezed orange juice, garlic salt, and pepper. The sauce is mixed up and I’m just getting a few of the other ingredients together and ready to go.
You want to dredge the chicken pieces really well in the cornstarch first….
…then into the flour to dredge again. You can actually dredge it a second time in the flour. But this was looking pretty good to me, so I stopped here.
You definitely want it well-coated, though, so if it still looks a bit translucent, dredge again in the flour.
Get a large pan of oil nice and hot, and get your small assembly line going to fry, drain and rest.
This is how much you’ll get from just 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts! Almost a full rack from just two smallish boneless skinless chicken breasts and enough for at least four servings!
And the coating is nice and light, crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside! Be sure to not overcook them, they cook fast! These only took 3 -4 minutes depending on the size of the piece.
As soon as you have all of the chicken cooked, get out a frying pan, or wok if you have one. Add a little oil and sauté your garlic, ginger, chopped onion, and red chilies until nice and fragrant.
Add in your sauce (be sure to give it a good stir before adding to reincorporate the cornstarch), stir to mix it all together, and cook and stir until it comes to a boil and thickens.
Then just stir and fold in your cooked chicken and green onion pieces!
And ta-dah! You’re done!
I always cook my rice first and just set it aside. You can always give it a quick zap in the microwave if it cools off too much.
The garnish is optional, but really pretty and tasty, too! I just sprinkle with a little toasted sesame seeds and snip some more green onion right over the plate.
This really rocked and was just as I hoped it would be! A bit hot, a bit sweet, a bit tart, with complex flavor and a tiny hint of fresh orange in the back reminding me that spring is coming soon! Really, really delicious! Something that I would feel confident serving to company, and would happily share with a friend!
So if you, too, are a big General Tso’s fan, you’ll really love this! So ditch the cruddy, expensive take-out, and make it at home with fresh ingredients and no MSG! 😉 Adjust the heat to your own preference by decreasing or increasing the red chili peppers! Serve with some nice oven-roasted broccoli with a little sesame oil and soy sauce, and some chocolate-dipped fortune cookies for a fun, easy dessert! 😀
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Take care all, and have a wonderful day! ~Kelly
- For Chicken:
- 1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/16 tsp. garlic salt
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ cup flour (*more if double-coating)
- 6 - 7* cups oil for frying chicken or 1½" deep (*depending on size of pan)
- For Stir Fry:
- 2 - 3 Tbl. canola oil
- ½ Tbl. finely minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 6 - 8 small dried red chilli peppers, cut in half crossways or thirds if large, seeds and all (I prefer it fairly hot so I add 8)
- 3 - 4 green onions, white part finely chopped (1 Tbl.), green part cut into 1" long pieces (as much as you like)
- For Sauce:
- 2 - 3 Tbl. soy sauce, to taste ( I love soy sauce so I use 3, *you can also use low-sodium if preferred)
- 1 Tbl. oyster sauce (optional / see note below)
- 2½ Tbl. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbl. hoisin sauce, *I only use Kikkoman's *(see note below)
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbl. + ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbl. dark brown sugar
- ½ Tbl. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbl. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbl. chopped green onion, (green part only)
- Marinate chicken in orange juice, garlic salt, and pepper for 15 minutes tossing well to mix. (*I sprinkle in a little o.j. at a time, tossing well between each addition to see that it's distributed throughout.)
- While chicken is marinating, mix all the ingredients together for the sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Dredge the chicken in the ⅓ cup cornstarch well.
- Then dredge in the flour once well, or twice to double-coat. Heat 6-7 cups oil in deep frying pan. Add the chicken in small batches so as to not overcrowd, and fry until cooked through and golden. Remove and place onto a paper towel-lined cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. (Should only take 3 - 4 minutes per batch.)
- Heat 2 -3 Tbl. oil in a wok or frying pan, and add the ginger, garlic, dried red chillies and white part of onions. Fry until fragrant. (30 seconds to one minute. Don't over-brown or burn garlic.)
- Add the sauce and stir to mix. Stir until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens.
- Add the chicken and the green part of onions. Stir to coat everything well with the sauce.
- Serve immediately over hot cooked rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and snipped green onion.
- *Warning. Dried red chili peppers are hot. They will add a nice medium heat to the sauce, but unless you're used to it, don't just eat a whole piece of one. Slice off slivers to enjoy with each bite.
*I prefer to only use Kikkoman's hoisin sauce, because I've had VERY bad luck with other brands in the past.
**If you prefer a lot of sauce to enjoy over the rice, my hubby, who LOVED the sauce, highly recommends that you double it! 😉