Friday, January 27, 2012

General Chicken

One of our new favorites in the frier is General Chicken. Just as tasty as take out. You can find the recipe here on Allrecipes, but I've posted it below, too.

Notes: You could skip the breading and just cook bite size pieces of chicken to cut calories. Purchasing all of the specialized ingredients can get pricey so don't try this if you don't intend to make more or more Chinese recipes. I think it cost me around $30 for the spices, oils and vinegar. I use dried orange peel instead of zest. I use 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts per sauce recipe. Plan on one chicken breast per person. I found it very helpful to measure out everything into little bowls before cooking the sauce.

General Tsao's Chicken

(some ingredients are listed twice intentionally)

4c. vegetable oil for frying

1 egg

1-1/2lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1t. salt

1t. white sugar

1 pinch white pepper

1c. cornstarch

2T. vegetable oil

3T. chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

6 dried whole red chilies

1 strip orange zest (or small amount of dried orange peel)

1/2c. white sugar

1/4t. ground ginger

3T. chicken broth

1T. rice vinegar

1/4c. soy sauce

2t. sesame oil

2T. peanut oil

2t. cornstarch

1/4c. water

1. Heat 4c. vegetable oil in deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees.

2. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. (I use my blender.). Add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, 1t. sugar and white pepper. Mix well. Mix in 1c. of the cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken is well coated.

3. In batches, carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil one by one, cooking until they turn golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool as you fry the next batch. Onces all the chicken has been fried, refry the chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until the chicken turns a deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel covered plate. (I skipeed the paper towels once and had oil floating around in the sauce later. Ick!)

4. Heat 2T. vegetable oil in a large wok or pot over high heat. Stir in the green onion, garlic, whole chilies, and orange zest. Cook and stir a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden and the chilies brighten. Add 1/2c. sugar, the ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Dissolve 2t. cornstarch in the water and stir into the boiling sauce. Return to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from the cornstarch, about a minute. Stir chicken pieces into boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce.

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