General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

Source: Generation Y Foodie

New year, new resolutions – right? That’s the way life goes sometimes. My New Year’s Resolution was to post something again. Four months of guilt is simply too much for me to handle. So without further adieu, I present the latest recipe: baked General Tso’s Chicken.

Ingredients: Oy vey. Just take it one bottle at a time and we'll make it through all right.

Gather your ingredients. All of them should be available in your local grocery store, though you might need to look in the ethnic/Chinese aisle for hoisin sauce and sesame oil.

I used a gallon-sized bag for this since individually dunking and tapping excess gets a little tedious. Beware that it's possible to have incomplete coverage since the chicken can tend to clump.

Dice the chicken into about 1″ cubes and coat with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

If you don't spray the foil, your chicken can stick to the foil. It works, but it's a lot of hassle. A lot.

Line a 9×13 pan with foil, lightly spray with cooking spray, and spread out the chicken. I baked my chicken at 375 for 12 minutes and then shut the oven off to keep the chicken warm since my sauce wasn’t ready yet.

This is where you add the other liquids. Or you could be like me and forget the vinegar until after the sauce is on the meat. It still tasted fine.

Speaking of sauce, combine garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a pan and saute until garlic is slightly browned. I used ground ginger instead of fresh so mine didn’t take long to start sticking to the pan. Add other liquids – soy sauce, broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring until the paste and hoisin sauce are fully incorporated.

About that clumping cornstarch, it really does happen if you don't dissolve it first. I tried it with a soup once. Never again.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch in about 1/4 cup of cold water and stir until well-mixed. If you try to add cornstarch or other thickener to a hot liquid, it will clump and not dissolve. Trust me on this one. Add cornstarch and water to sauce and simmer until thickened slightly.

Why wasn't my sauce ready when the meat was done? It's those veggies at the top there. I hodge-podge'd a stir fry from scratch without a sauce. Nearly crisped some broccoli trying to get it all timed right.

Once sauce is thickened to drops off the spoon and not a stream of liquid, remove from heat. Place chicken in a bowl and coat with sauce. Toss chopped scallions (about three) and toasted sesame seeds on top.

To eliminate using another dish, put the chicken from the oven directly into your serving bowl and pour the sauce on top, then stir to coat.

My recipe:

Meat:

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloin, diced to 1″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I omitted by accident and it turned out just as tasty)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Garnish:

  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Toss died chicken with 2 tbsp corn starch in gallon-sized bag. Cover 9×13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Spread chicken chunks into a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes.
For sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, ground ginger and sesame oil and saute for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown. Add soy sauce, broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Simmer on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, making sure to completely incorporate tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Dissolve 1 tsp of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water. Add cornstarch to sauce mixture, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes until it begins to thicken.
Remove chicken from oven and toss with sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds and scallions for garnish. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables for a full meal.
If desired, double the amount of sauce and use half for coating steamed or stir fry vegetables.

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3 thoughts on “General Tso’s Chicken

  1. Dara January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Looks delish! Now I am totally craving this.

    • hodgepodgecook January 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for the recipe, Dara! Everyone really enjoyed it and I will definitely make it again.

  2. Christine December 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm Reply

    follwed reciepe exactly. The result was tasty but the flavor was strong and not quite like a true General Tso’s chicken . I think it was the tomato paste … Two tablespoons appear to be too much. I would start with a teaspoon and then add more if needed. Other than that, it was good and will cook it again.

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