Another dinner invitation and time again to put the thinking cap on to search for a new recipe. Cuisine for the day: Chinese/ Pan-Asian!! What do we cook? Pepper chicken? Schezwan? Chicken in hot garlic sauce? Chicken in oyster sauce? It’s all been done at the “All things yummy” kitchen, so it was time to get innovative and then I came across this recipe for General Tso chicken, deep fried batter coated chicken tossed around in a spicy hoisin sauce (A word of caution, this is a bit of an acquired taste so some of your guests may not appreciate the hard work that goes into this one!!), a popular take-out dish in the western part of the world!!
Recipe 55: General Tso chicken
Recipe credits: Cook’s illustrated
What you need:
For the Marinade & Sauce:
½ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1½ cups water
400 gms boneless chicken breast/ thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For Coating & Frying:
3 egg whites
1½ cups cornflour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 cups vegetable oil
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional, garnish)
How to make it edible:
1. To make the marinade, whisk the hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornflour, and water in a bowl. Of this mixture, place 6 tablespoons into a zip lock storage bag and add the chicken; seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade in the bowl.
2. While the chicken is chilling in the marinade, heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add 2 cups of the hoisin marinade to the skillet and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture is dark brown and thickened (about 5 minutes) . Remove from heat, cover and keep the sauce warm.
3. To prepare the chicken for coating and frying, whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish until foamy; set aside. Combine the cornflour, flour, baking soda, and remaining hoisin marinade in a second shallow dish; mix until it resembles coarse meal.
4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and from the marinade. Pat the marinated chicken dry with paper towels. Toss the chicken pieces into the foamy egg whites until well coated, then dredge the chicken in the cornflour mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer the coated chicken to a plate.
5. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer the cooked chicken onto a paper towel lined plate to drain.
6. Warm the sauce over medium heat until simmering. Turn off the heat and add the fried chicken pieces. Toss to coat and serve.
This recipe gives you a semi-dry dish, so if you want one with a sufficient amount of gravy, make 1.5 times the sauce!!
Time spent in Kitchen: 1.5 hours (including marinade time)
Price range of the total cost of all ingredients: INR 400 (serves 3-4 )