Jade still hasn’t made her official entrance here yet (despite being the head chef, for shame!) but that hasn’t stopped her from making a wonderful dinner for us. I’ll let this picture be your first impression of her… it certainly made a wonderful impression in my mouth!
So this dish turned out super tasty after several years of trial and error. Originally I found that the sauce had hints of orange, but no real zap of any strong flavor. I wanted a sharper taste of orange and a bit thicker of a sauce like the kind you would have at an Asian food restaurant. Don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. This dish is totally worth the effort! Enjoy my take on a very popular recipe.
General Tsao’s Chicken Magic
Four large boneless chicken thighs (can substitute with two chicken breasts)
2 cups peanut oil (for deep frying breaded chicken)
2 cups cornstarch
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
3 green onions sliced
2 minced whole red chili peppers
½ cup sugar
1 Orange worth of zest
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ cup of orange juice
3 tablespoon mirin
¼ cup of chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnishing
White sesame seeds, for garnishing
Heat two cups of peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. I prefer using a small sauce pan for convenience, but if you’re feeling fancy or simply less dangerous, use a deep fryer.
Cut the chicken into cubes and mix into a bowl of 2 beaten eggs.
Dredge the eggy chicken in cornstarch. Make sure all of the chicken pieces are fully coated in the cornstarch.
Check to see if the oil is hot enough to deep fry. I usually use just a tiny pinch of cornstarch or flour I am using on the chicken and toss it into the oil to check. If the powder immediately sizzles instead of falling to the bottom of the pan, you’re ready for the magic to happen!
Carefully drop the chicken pieces in the hot oil a few pieces at a time. If you drop them in altogether, you will have a giant blob of breaded chicken :0
Fry the chicken until the breading slightly turns a golden color. Warning: It does not need to look McDonalds chicken nugget golden brown. The cornflour does not turn nearly as dark as flour when cooked so be careful not to overcook it!
Now take the chicken pieces out of the oil and leave them to rest on a plate lined with paper towels. Chicken done, yay!
Now with the hard part out of the way…
Chop 3 green onions into slices, slice 3 chilies into pieces, and mince 3 garlic cloves finely.
Toss the onions, chillies, and garlic into a large frying pan with a dash of peanut oil and simmer on a medium low heat for about 3 minutes.
Add the orange zest to the pan along with 1/2 cup of sugar and let it cook for two minutes until the sugar has melted.
Add the orange juice, chicken broth, mirin, powdered ginger, soy sauce sesame seed oil and peanut oil to the pan and combine.
In a small bowl mix 1/4 a cup of water and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch into a bowl until the starch is dissolved.
Incorporate the starch mixture into the pan and let everything simmer at a medium heat until it begins to thicken.
You remember that awesome fried chicken from earlier? Well throw it in that saucy looking pan! Its party time! Serve it up with rice and garnish with parsley and sesame seeds.