Tuesday, July 6, 2010

General Tso's Chicken

I think I have found out how Chinese restaurants get chicken to have a breaded texture but still really moist. Cornstarch. It sounds weird... and looks a little strange when cooking, but it really works! I've made this a couple times, so I know it wasn't just luck the first time that the chicken ended up tender. I also made a few changes from the original recipe I found. It originally had more sugar, ketchup, and ginger.

General Tso's Chicken
Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6-8 spring green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
hot pepper flakes (optional)

Mix together the first 6 ingredients (through the water) and set aside. This is the sauce.

Put the cornstarch into a ziplock back and drop the chicken cubes in. Shake until fully coated. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the chicken until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil with onions and chopped ginger. Fry about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the chicken back to the skillet, toss to coat with sauce and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Add red pepper flakes, to taste, if desired. Serve with rice.

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