The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Not Takeout General Tso’s Chicken

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Level: Easy

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Description

General Tso. The mysterious enigma behind a dish that all too often features a sugary sauce and batter-coated sponges that may or may not contain actual poultry. Our version, the way my father’s father cooked it in his restaurant, has a more a intensely-flavored, tangy sauce (as opposed to the usually one-note, sugary sweet stuff), large chunks of crisp, juicy chicken and lots of fresh crunchy broccoli.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 pinch White Pepper
  • ⅓ cups Flour
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • ½ Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Or Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • FOR THE REST OF THE DISH
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch Mixed With Below Amount Of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 2 cups Peanut Or Canola Oil, Plus 1 Tablespoon
  • 5 whole Dried Chili Peppers
  • ½ cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock Or Water

Preparation

Cut the chicken into 1 1/2-inch chunks and combine in a bowl with sesame seeds, cornstarch, salt, sesame oil, wine and white pepper.

Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken lightly in the flour and set aside.

Stir together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Set aside.

Have a medium sized bowl of ice water prepared and ready.

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the broccoli for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove broccoli from the water using a slotted spoon and immediately dunk it into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove it from the ice water and set aside.

Heat the 2 cups of oil in a small pot over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Fry the chicken in small batches until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per batch. Remove the fried chicken from the oil to a paper towel lined plate and repeat frying the rest of the chicken.

Heat a clean wok over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil along with the dried chilies. Cook the chili peppers for about 10 seconds then add your sauce ingredients along with the chicken stock or water. Bring the liquid to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until it thickens to a sauce. Quickly check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add the chicken and broccoli and toss the mixture until everything is well-coated. Plate and serve immediately with steamed rice.

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