Did you ever wonder who General Tso is? I’ve been ordering and eating this dish for years and have to admit, it has crossed my mind a lot. Admit it, you have wondered too. Right?
Well it turns out there really was a General Tso. He has nothing to do with this famous chicken dish but apparently he was a war hero during China’s greatest civil war. It turns out really this dish comes from two chef’s in china battling it out and this was one chef paying tribute to the General. My mind , when reading the Huffington Post story, had me thinking of Iron Chef for some reason.
My family loves General Tso’s . Recently our favorite Chinese place closed up. I have to say it didn’t come as a surprise after how poorly the food got there. I wont go into how rude the service became either. Which is a shame as it was amazing at one time.
I have over the years tried a few recipes trying to have that take out at home feeling. One cookbook I had picked up at a used book store had the very best version we had ever tried. Sadly, the book went missing from my shelf years ago. My youngest daughter and I were really bummed about it. We seem to have lost a lot of things after packing our home one summer and putting it on the market.
The following recipe is good. My only issue is the batter was not what I hoped for. Next time I either plan to do my own beer batter. If you’re not a fan of batter this might be a great recipe for you then.
General Tso’s Chicken
- 1 lb of chicken cut up (chicken breast is good but if your on a budget use chicken thighs)
- 1 1/2 cups of flour (use whatever flour makes you happy)
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/4 tsp of cayanne pepper
- sprinkling of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
- green onions , chopped for garnish
- In a small saucepan mix together your sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, and garlic. Heat on a medium setting and cook without bringing to a boil until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is smooth. About 10 mins.
- Meanwhile dredge your chicken in the flour. Heat a skillet with the oil and fry untill the chicken is crispy and brown. Drain the chicken of any extra oil , sprinkle with the cayenne powder and keep warm. My oven has a warm setting so I placed the chicken in an oven proof bowl in there while I finished off the sauce.
- Add your cornstarch mixture to your sauce in the pan very slowly and whisk while doing so. Making sure to blend each addition of cornstarch mixture. Once your sauce is thick pour over your chicken.
- Top chicken chopped green onions and a sprinkling of the red pepper flakes and enjoy!
I served this dish with fried rice I make up quickly with some cooked rice, frozen peas and some eggs and soy sauce.