Monday, May 21, 2012

General Tsao’s Chicken

For Mothers Day, Bev elected to cook Chinese for friends rather than have me cook for her and she chose General Tsao’s Chicken.  She used a recipe from Allrecipes for General Tsao’s Chicken II and based upon making it before, she modified it by reducing the sugar and doubling the sauce amount from what is shown in the recipe below.

General Tsao’s Chicken

4 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 egg
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 pinch white pepper
1 cup cornstarch 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
6 dried whole red chilies (see note)
1 strip orange zest
1/2 cup white sugar (she used ¼ cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil 
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Notes - Bev bought the small dried peppers recommended at the Asian food store, but they are merely called red peppers.  The first time she added Sriracha for additonal heat, but omitted it this time for our guests.

1. Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken cubes; sprinkle with salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and white pepper; mix well. Mix in 1 cup of cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken cubes are well coated.

3. In batches, carefully drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil one by one, cooking until they turns golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool as you fry the next batch.

Once all of the chicken has been fried, refry the chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until the chicken turns deep golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in the green onion, garlic, whole chiles, and orange zest. Cook and stir a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden and the chiles brighten. Add 1/2 cup sugar, the ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil; bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the water, and stir into the boiling sauce. Return to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from the cornstarch, about 1 minute. Stir the chicken into the boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce.

Like homemade French fries the double cook of the chicken it the key to having a moist tender inside with a very crispy outside.

She served it over plain white rice and this is my dish.

I’d never had it before she made it the first time, which I thought was too sweet, but I thought this was very good and our sweet loving guests thought it was outstanding – our neighbors came by for dessert and cleaned up the chicken leftovers as well.

Remember the chili powder giveaway.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Maine Seafood In Tennessee

Two years ago:  A Short Road Trip To Oak Ridge


5/13/12  meal date


  1. Double frying really does work for a crispy exterior with a moist interior. I'm sure your friends were impressed with the meal.

  2. I don't know anyone who doesn't love this dish. How awesome that you made it at home!

  3. Love General Tsao's chicken - and have made it myself before too. Bev's looks perfect!!

  4. I have had General Tsao's chicken bookmarked for like 50 years. I really want to make it. Looks delicious! I've never had it, even at a restaurant. And thanks for the "double cook" instruction. I may have taken a short cut on that one.

  5. This is a favorite dish of ours and Bev picked a great recipe to make hers. I'm sure your guests were wowed. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. One of my favorites! Tell Bev I think it looks really fantastic.

  7. I'm very happy to have this recipe. This is one of my favorite dishes and will be making it soon. I'm looking forward to trying the double frying. If it make the chicken extra crispy I will love it!

  8. Am so glad to see a recipe that I know will taste good, thanks... missed this one, so glad I scrolled down...


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