Monday, 4 April 2016

General Tso's Chicken

Hi Guys!!

Hope you had a wonderful week?...I sure did!

Yesterday, I went to visit my friend Anna in Bristol. We met at a medical symposium three weeks ago, and just hit it off. She told me that she spent her last summer in Ghana, so it was fun to reminisce about the GH-life, places and of course the food. After the symposium, she invited me over to her place and I promised her a visit. 

We had a fun day together and I guess the most memorable part of the visit for me was the food naturally (#wink). She didn't cook, but ordered some Chinese take -away for us. The food arrived, she dished it and served me.  I almost licked the plate. IT WAS FINGER LICKING GOOD!!... I had to ask what she ordered, and she said its called 'General Tso's Chicken'. 

When I got back, I knew I had to try and re-create it at home, so I started my research. Its a pretty simple recipe, but its got a lot of ingredients and components.  The ingredients are pretty much the same in a lot of the recipes, but I was able to tweak it to my taste.


There are three parts to this recipe. 

First, I had to make the base sauce or brown sauce. This sauce has a lot of ingredients but it is pretty versatile.  I've used it in my stir fry recipes; beef, chicken, vegetable and egg fried rice. It can also keep in the fridge for a while. I kept mine for about three (3) weeks and use it when ever I want. Next was to make the General Tso sauce, which was pretty easy, and finally the chicken has to be seasoned and prepped for frying.

So this is how I made mine.

Ingredients
For the base sauce
  • 1/3 cup of oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp of hoisen sauce
  • 1 cup of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of cooking wine (I used a regular white wine)
  • 2 Tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 Ginger root
  • 1 Spring onion (cut into three parts)
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of heated chicken stock
To make the general tsp's sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of sweet chilli sauce (sugar is an alternative)
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp of chilli sauce (siracha)
For the chicken
  • 1-2 chicken thighs (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of oil for frying
Extras
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped spring onions
  • A wok
  • Bowls
  • Slurry: 1tsp of corn starch + 1tbsp of water
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the base sauce and set it aside. The spring onions, garlic and ginger need to infuse for about 30-60 mins. Then they should be removed  with a sieve.
    A cup of the base sauce
  2. Make the general two sauce by combining all the ingredients together, and set aside.
    The vinegar, chilli sauce and sweet chilli sauce

    The General Tso sauce
  3.  Take the quantity of base sauce you would need ( I used 1 cup) and combine it with the general tso sauce, mix and set aside.
    The base sauce

    Adding the general two sauce to the base sauce

    The combined sauces
  4. Chop the extra garlic and ginger and set aside.
    The green onion and garlic

    Chopped green onion and garlic
  5. Place the chopped chicken thighs in a bowl. 
    Chopped chicken thighs
  6. Add the salt, garlic powder, pepper, egg, baking soda  and mix very well.
  7. Adding salt to the chicken

    Pepper added

    Garlic powder added

    An egg added

    The baking soda added

  8. Cover the bowl with cling film, and place in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Remove the chicken from the fridge, add the corn starch and mix well. Then add the 2 tbsps of vegetable oil and mix well. This would help make the batter smooth.
    Adding the corn starch into the mixture

    Adding the oil to the corn starch mixed chicken

    The oil mixed into the batter
  10. Place the pot of oil on the stove and allow it to heat up.
  11. Add the chicken pieces one by one, using a toothpick into the hot oil (carefully) and allow it to fry for about 4 minutes. Then remove and drain on a kitchen towel.
    Placing the chicken pieces into the pot of oil

    Frying the chicken 

    Check out the beautifully smooth coating on the chicken

    Removing the pieces from the oil after 4 minutes
    Chicken placed on kitchen towels to allow the oil drain off
  12. Place the wok on fire, and add about 2 tbsps of oil into it. Now add the chopped garlic and spring onions and sauté for a bit (don't allow it to burn kinda like mine did).
    Spring onions and garlic in the wok
  13. Now add the general Tso's sauce into the wok, and allow it to heat up. Add the slurry, stir and allow the sauce to thicken bait before adding the chicken pieces.
    Adding the general Tso sauce into the wok

    Making the slurry

    The sauce is beginning to thicken
  14. Coat the chicken pieces with the sauce and remove from the heat. 
    Adding the chicken into the sauce 


    Chicken coated in the sauce
  15. Now serve. 
    Removing the chicken from the wok into a plate
Tips
  1. Most of these ingredients can be found in your local Asian market or supermarket, and are relatively in-expensive.
  2. Try to ensure the garlic doesn't burn in the wok.
  3. The quantity of ingredients you use in the chicken depends on the quantity of chicken you would be using, so make it according to your taste.
If you do try this recipe out, don't forget to hashtag #eleanorzkitchen so I could see how yours turns out.