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Old 12-02-2006, 11:27 PM   #1
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General TSO Chicken

Anyone ever actually try a recipe that was good and tasted like what you get in a resteraunt? THere are many BAD recipes for this on the internet. I have tried a lot of them i known :D. I haven't had one i really liked yet. First of all every general tso chicken place around here (the sauce is red). Most recipes just tell you to add some whole chiles to some soy sauce. This sure isn't going to cause the sauce to turn red. Id really make it from scratch rather than buying some of the self sauce that i have to order. Can anyone help?

Ncage

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Old 12-03-2006, 12:04 AM   #2
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Being of Chinese stock and raised in the Chinese traditions, it seemed strange that I have absolutely no idea what this dish was. A check on the internet informatively reveals that General Tso's chicken in fact originated in the U.S. and is a popular specialty in American and Canadian chinese restaurants.

This dish is totally unknown in China and other lands home to the Chinese diaspora. It was probably made popular in NYC's Chinatown in the mid-70s. Based on its taste, it is probably of Hunan and Szechuan-style cooking.

Just so the folks in North America know ;-)

Btw, the name is attributed to a 19th century Qing dynasty general who most likely never got to taste this dish. Apparently there's a General Tso's tofu dish too.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:53 AM   #3
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It probably varies from region to region, as do many Americanized foods. You described your Tso as being a red sauce, while all the ones I've seen have been decidedly orange. Some use chilis, some dont. Some use sesame, some dont.

You could try asking some of the restaurants how they do it. Some will probably laugh in your face, but you mind find someone will help you out.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix
Being of Chinese stock and raised in the Chinese traditions, it seemed strange that I have absolutely no idea what this dish was. A check on the internet informatively reveals that General Tso's chicken in fact originated in the U.S. and is a popular specialty in American and Canadian chinese restaurants.

This dish is totally unknown in China and other lands home to the Chinese diaspora. It was probably made popular in NYC's Chinatown in the mid-70s. Based on its taste, it is probably of Hunan and Szechuan-style cooking.

Just so the folks in North America know ;-)

Btw, the name is attributed to a 19th century Qing dynasty general who most likely never got to taste this dish. Apparently there's a General Tso's tofu dish too.
Yes i agree with you its not authentic (most of chinease food cooked in america isn't) but mmm mmmm mmmmmmmm is it good.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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Have you considered toasting the dried chiles in peanut oil at the start of the dish? That might give a red shade to the sauce when you complete it. Or, you could just use some chile oil.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
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Neither have I heard of this dish in Singapore.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:07 PM   #7
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The most common recipes I see when I search online is dried chiles, ginger, soy, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and the batter is just eggs and cornstarch.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:16 PM   #8
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I have never eaten this in an establishment but after making this recipe at home we all fell in love! I really don't want to type the whole recipe but if you go to the site Recipezaar and type in the search box 54288 it should come up. I have added ginger, garlic and green onion with great success. The chicken can also be frozen or refrigerated after the first frying. I found it to be a terrific appy too!
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:31 PM   #9
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This is the closest I've ever come to what I have in Chinese resturants and I have to say my family loves it when I make it. It started out as a Sweet & Sour Chicken Recipe from JMediger......this recipe is really good but one day I thought I'd try to get a spicy flavor out of it........and sure enough I accomplished it. The sauce is red too! Hope this helps and is to your liking. As with most all recipes you'll need to adjust to your taste....add a little more of what ever ingredient you think it needs. Hope this helps!

SWEET & SOUR WINGS or THIGHS

Original Recipe from JMediger

Dip in egg - then flour
Brown on each side
Place in single layer in greased baking dish

SAUCE....
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all in sauce pan and bring to soft boil.
Spread over chicken wings and top with crushed pineapple if you like.....NOTE: I don't top mine with the pineapple.
Cover and bake for 40 - 45 min. @ 350. NOTE: You'll have to turn these 1/2 way through.

I usually let the chicken wings set after I dip them while I do the sauce. The batter seems to stay better when I brown them.

Doubled, this will cover about 3 lbs of wings that have been halved (wing and "drummie" separated) so I would think the single recipe would cover your 6 thighs (about 1 lb?).

NOTE: I taste the sauce and then add a little more of this and that to get it to my taste.
To make this spicy like General Tso's...............I added red chilis to the sauce along with some scallions.
You can just use pieces of chicken breasts and adjust the time accordingly.
Also...after the first couple of times making these instead of the original order to bake I switched to frying these.....I prefer them better this way.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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Yes General Tso's chicken varies in taste and texture. Some of the mass chains make it super sweet and the meat is not even cleaned to my liking (too much untrimmed fat and super large chunks - yuck) so I have stopped eating it unless I make it at home.

Here is how I make it. Is it authentic - we know from dear Chopstick's comment it's not but it works for me and my family.


Chicken cut into medium sized cubes - I like to use a mixture of boneless skinless thighs and breasts (I like to trim most of the fat and silver skin before cutting it into peices). I like to use about 3 pounds of chicken
1/2 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
1/4 cup of cornstarch mixed with 1 egg

Step 1

Marinate the chicken cubes with the ginger and soy sauce for about 30 minutes.

Next add 1/4 cup of oil in a pan (peanut, canola, corn or vegetable oil is fine). Add the chicken to the cornstarch and egg mixture and fry it in batches (if you add everything together and cramm it in, the texture will be lost, you want these to be nice and crispy not soggy).

Reserve the fried chicken on the side.

Step 2

Mix the sauce ingredients:

1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
zest of an orange
1 tsp of red chili paste (I like to use sambal or anything that is hot)
1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of soy sauce

Mix it all together in a bowl and reserve

Step 3

Add 2 tbsp of oil to a work or saute pan and allow it to get smoking hot
Next add 6 dried arabol chilis (ensure the chilis are intact and whole and not broken at any end to ensure the dish will not be super hot)
Next add the sauce ingredients and cook it until the sauce gets nice and thick and bubbly. Add the chicken cubes, 1/4 tsp of sesame oil and stir in a bunch of finely chopped green onions, sprinkle with toasted white sesame seeds stir and serve immediately with rice of noodles.
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