Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

I'm sure by now everyone knows about my love for Chinese food, so it should come as no surprise I recently signed up for an email newsletter that sends me recipes! I got my first one today, I'm very excited about it.

Wok spider
Wok spatula or ladle
Small strainer for dusting corn starch

1.5 pounds chicken, thigh or breast cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 1/2 cups peanut oil
8-12 dried chinese chiles, chopped if you like the dish hotter, whole if you are of the mild persuasion.
1/2 cup finely sliced scallion
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch for dusting


1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch white pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch


2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine.

Mix together the marinade ingredients and add it to the chicken. Ensure the chicken is throughly coated then set it aside for at least 15 minutes.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the peanut oil in your wok over high heat till it starts to smoke. You can test this by putting in prawn crackers into the oil. If they bloom out sufficiently quickly, then it’s hot enough.

One at a time, bread the chicken pieces with the breadcrumbs. Pat the crumbs in firmly so they don’t drop off in the oil, and shake off excess crumbs. Deepfry them in the hot oil till nicely browned. Don’t worry too much about whether they are cooked through, they get a second cooking later.

Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil and turn the heat up again. When it starts smoking add in the chillies and szechuan pepper and fry till fragrant. Add in the cashews and fry till it takes on a roasty brown colour.

Add the chicken and continue frying till the chillies look a bit burnt.
Give the sauce mixture a stir then pour it over everything. Toss to coat evenly, then add the chopped scallions. Give it another stir around till the scallions look half cooked.
Serve it up piping hot, garnished generously with scallions and coriander.