General Tso's Chicken
From Cook's Country
The appeal of General Tso’s Chicken recipes is easy to see: Boneless chicken pieces are marinated in soy sauce, battered, and deep-fried to a crispy brown before being coated with a sweet-hot sauce made with dried chiles, more soy, sugar, vinegar, hoisin sauce or tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. General Tso’s chicken recipes are great in Chinese restaurants, but homemade versions are typically gummy and bland. We wanted to do better. While many General Tso’s chicken recipes use boneless thighs, in side-by-side tests tasters preferred the milder white meat of boneless breasts. A combination of flour, corn starch, and baking soda helped the chicken brown evenly and kept the coating crisp, even when doused with the sauce. To build layers of flavor in our General Tso’s Chicken recipe, we used our potent marinade in the coating and also as a base for the sauce.
In step 4, the fried chicken pieces can be held in a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes before being added to the sauce (if held any longer, they will lose their crispness). If the sauce is too thick in step 5, whisk in 1 tablespoon of water before adding the crispy chicken.
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