General Tso's Chicken

Serves 4

To serve a vegetable with this dish, stir-fry while you are waiting for the oil to heat up for deep-frying.

1 pound dark chicken meat

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, divided

⅛ teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon sesame oil

6 dried red chilies

4–6 cups oil for deep-frying

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • Cut the chicken into cubes. Mix in the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the rice wine, white pepper, and the cornstarch, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

  • Combine the dark soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon rice wine. Set aside. Cut the red chilies in half and remove the seeds. Chop and set aside.

  • Heat the oil to 350°F. When the oil is hot, add the chicken cubes and deep-fry until they are lightly browned. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towels.

  • Raise the temperature of the wok to 400°F. Deep-fry the chicken a second time briefly, until the chicken turns golden brown. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towels.

  • Drain the wok, leaving 2 tablespoons of oil for stir-frying. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and green onions. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add the chilies and cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce in the middle of the wok and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and mix through.

Food Fit for a General

General Tso's Chicken is named after a famous military leader who helped quash China's Taipeng rebellion in the mid-1800s. How the dish came to be named after General Tso is lost to history, although he was rumored to have a penchant for fiery foods.

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