General Tso’s Chicken

by Cate on September 13, 2004

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

(serves 4-6)
Marinade:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 slices fresh ginger, smashed (I used ginger paste)
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peanut oil, for frying
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 2 tablespoons for slurry
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (again, I used paste)
1-1/2 cups soy sauce
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Steamed white rice, for serving

Put the chicken into a bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients. Stir well to combine all the flavors, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a wok or deep skillet to 375F. Mix the egg, cornstarch, water, and sesame oil in a large bowl until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Add the marinated chicken and coat it well with the batter. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken pieces in batches until they are browned and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. When you have fried all the chicken, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Over high heat, add the scallion, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute then pour in the soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and honey and bring it to a boil. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Pour the slurry into the boiling sauce, in 2 additions, until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are heated through, about 2 more minutes. Garnish with scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve over white rice.

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