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My family loves Chinese food, and I set out to recreate all of their favorite recipes at home. I often make rangeon crab, chicken wraps with lettuce, and this irresistible crispy chicken from General Tso.
General Tso's chicken is one of my all-time favorite Chinese dishes. I love that it is crispy, with a sweet touch and a spicy touch. I started making this recipe at home when we craved Asian food, but I don't want to take the time to go to a restaurant. It has been a great success with both children and adults!
What is General Tso's chicken?
This chicken is a popular Chinese dish made with pieces of fried chicken coated in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. This chicken is similar to sesame chicken, but the sauce has a little more heat and a more complex salty flavor. It is often served with a side of steamed broccoli.
How is General Tso's chicken made?
This dish starts with battered and fried chicken cubes until golden. The chicken pieces are tossed in a sauce made with soy sauce, garlic, red chili flakes, and hoisin sauce. The last step is to add a pinch of sesame seeds and green onion, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for this chicken recipe
- Be careful not to fry too many pieces of chicken at the same time to avoid sticking or clumping together. I usually fry 6-8 pieces at a time.
- To increase the spicy flavor of your chicken, feel free to add more red pepper flakes. If desired, you can also include some whole dried red chillies.
- This chicken is best served right away, as the coating will absorb the sauce and soften as it settles.
- Use a frying thermometer to make sure the oil stays at 350 degrees F. If the oil is too hot, the outside of the chicken may burn before the inside cooks. If the oil is too cold, the chicken will absorb more oil and will be heavy and greasy.
- You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer, though thighs are the more traditional option.
What is the difference between orange chicken and General Tso chicken?
While General Tso's chicken and orange chicken are delicious Chinese stir-fries, they are very different dishes. Both have pieces of golden fried chicken in a sweet sauce, but General Tso's chicken has a more salty flavor that depends on soy sauce, chili flakes, and chicken broth. Orange chicken is sweeter, has orange juice in the sauce, and has a lighter-colored sauce.
I love making this sweet and spicy chicken at home. There's something to enjoy about those crispy hot chicken pieces covered in freshly made sauce that I can't resist. Don't bother taking out and try this recipe!
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General Tso's Chicken
This recipe for General Tso's chicken is battered crispy chicken pieces mixed with a sweet and spicy sauce. A classic to go that is easy to make at home and even better than what you would get in a restaurant!
Preparation time: 25 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 Calories: 365kcal
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken drumsticks cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 lightly beaten eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onion
For the sauce
- 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Place the eggs in a bowl; Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the flour and cornstarch and place them in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
- Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees F.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then top with the flour mixture. Repeat the process for all the chicken pieces.
- Fry 8-9 pieces of chicken at a time for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with all the remaining chicken.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- Heat the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ground red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
- Whisk together the chicken stock, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
- Add the liquid mixture to the skillet and simmer. Cook 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Add chicken pieces to skillet and stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion and serve.
Calories :: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 442 mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 240 IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.3mg