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Easy General Tso’s Chicken
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Ditch the delivery and fire up the flames for a fast and fresh recipe for Easy General Tso’s Chicken.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then that above shot is my dissertation on the greatest homemade General Tso’s Chicken you will ever taste. A bold but oh-so-accurate claim!
Just look at that ratio of sweet and tangy sauce to crispy chicken pieces. There’s more than enough sauce to generously coat the chicken and spoon atop rice or noodles. Because isn’t that the whole point of takeout-fakeout favorites? I’ll take all the sticky-sweet, slightly sour, super umami sauce, please!
Making takeout favorites at home is nothing new around here. Easy Beef and Broccoli continues to be one of the most popular recipes of all time (more than a decade of deliciousness!) on Just a Taste, and the Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango isn’t far behind.
This recipe for Easy General Tso’s Chicken will be on your dinner table in 30 minutes or less. It’s sweet, savory, sour and every bit as addictive as the restaurant version. The chicken is crispy without being overly breaded (my usual complaint when it comes to General Tso’s), while the sauce is thick and syrupy, just like it should be.
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Easy General Tso's Chicken
For the chicken:
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup dried whole chilies
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- Sliced scallions, for garnishing
Make the chicken:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and flour with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, tossing to coat.
Add 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot set over medium-high heat. Line a plate with paper towels.
Once the oil is hot, shake off any excess flour mixture from the chicken pieces and add them to the oil in batches. (See Note.)
Cook the chicken pieces in batches, turning as needed, until golden brown and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to the paper towel-lined plate then make the sauce.
Make the sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and soy sauce to make a slurry. Set the slurry aside.
Add the vegetable oil to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chilies, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice wine vinegar, hoisin, brown sugar, chicken stock and sesame oil.
Stir in the slurry, bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it until it thickens to the consistency of syrup, about 1 minute.
Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat.
Serve the chicken topped with scallions.
You can test if the oil is hot enough by adding one piece of the chicken to the pan. If it bubbles and floats, the oil is the correct temperature.
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