Tuesday, September 6, 2011

General Tso's Chicken

In my house, we have a love for Chinese food.  If it were allowed, we would have it at least once a week.  There is just nothing more simple than sitting down with a nice big bowl of rice, some sort of a chicken dish, and a couple of crab ragoons to top it off.  We like it so much that one of the first things we bought after getting married was a restaurant style rice maker.  We go through so much rice at our house, it's probably embarrassing.  It's just so easy to make and you can eat it with just about anything.  While my standard rice go-to is topped with sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sriracha hot sauce (try it and you'll never eat another brand of hot sauce,) I decided to get a little crazy with our rice and make a main course to go with it.  I am normally a sweet and sour kind of girl.  I use to eat General Tso's, but it mentally got to me with each bite.  It just didn't have that chicken texture, I didn't know exactly what was in it, and I finally gave it up.  While the flavors were good, I just couldn't shake that "what is this" feeling.

And then, I came upon this recipe.  If this turned out, my problem would be solved.  It turned out not to taste exactly like the restaurant style dish, but I loved the texture and flavors of it.  It has a strong ginger taste to it, so if your not in love with ginger, I would cut back on it and add a little more garlic in replace of it.
It was so easy to make too.  It actually turned out easier to make than it is to pronounce.  The more people I talk to, the more pronunciations I get.  Before I get to the recipe I'm curious what you all call it.

1. General "So's"
2. General "Chow's"
3. General "T-So's" 
4. Geners "Show's"
5. "fill in the blank."

....and now to the recipe
 the recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I only buy chicken breast.  This worked great.  Cut it into chunks

Next step is to add your sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and cornstarch in a bowl.  The mix will be kind of goopy and thick.  

Put your chicken in the sauce and cover to let sit

In a deep saucepan, add your garlic and ginger to the hot oil and cook until it starts to smell up your kitchen (yummy.)  Do you not let your garlic get all brown.  There is not going back from burnt garlic.

In a separate bowl, add the rest of the sauce ingredients and add to the garlic and ginger.
Cook until boiling and thick.  Turn on low and simmer while you cook the chicken.

To test my oil, I normally sacrifice one piece. When I think it's hot, I will throw it in. If it doesn't sizzle, I know it's not ready.  I leave it there until it starts.

Once hot, add the rest of the chicken and cook until it's all nice and browned on both sides.

Does that not look absolutely delicious!!!!
...and we are not done yet.

Once all of the chicken is cooked, mix it with the sauce simmering on the stove.

Throw in some steamed broccoli, a decorative pile of rice, and you've got yourself a meal!

You can find the recipe here.

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