Best General Tso's Chicken from Serious Eats

Total Time
40mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins

Entered for safe-keeping. Not candy-coated, this General Tso's Chicken from J. Kenji López-Alt, Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats, has vinegary kick to balance the sugar. It gets a crisp crust from the vodka in the chicken coating. Adding some of the marinade to the coating gives extra crunch. For more information, see http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/04/the-food-lab-bringing-home-general-tsos-chick.html

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. MARINADE.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until broken down and lightly foamy.
  3. Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka. Whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl.
  4. To large bowl, add baking soda and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add chicken and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  5. DRY COAT.
  6. In a second large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk until homogenous. Add reserved marinade from Step 3. Whisk until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside. (I would put this in a large plastic bag.).
  7. SAUCE.
  8. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch. Stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.
  9. In a large skillet, combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions and red chilies. Place over medium heat (that's right, don't preheat skillet!).
  10. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes.
  11. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet, making sure to scrape out any sugar or starch on the bottom. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute.
  12. Add scallion segments. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don't wipe out skillet.
  13. TO FINISH.
  14. Heat 1 1/2 quarts oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature.
  15. One piece at a time, remove chicken from marinade and place in dry coat mixture and toss to coat and press dry mixture onto chicken to help it adhere. When all chicken is in dry coat mixture, make sure every piece is well-coated.
  16. Lift chicken 1 piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully LOWER into hot oil (DO NOT DROP IT!). Once all chicken has been added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjust flame to maintain temperature of 325-375°F, until chicken is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes.
  17. Transfer cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.
  18. Add chicken to empty skillet (the one you didn't wipe out in Step 12) and return sauce to skillet. Toss chicken, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated.
  19. Serve immediately with white rice. (You may prefer to have more than 1/2 cup rice per serving.).
Most Helpful

Sauce is delicious and perfect. We had a bit of trouble with the breading process and would not have added marinade liquid to the dry coat before rolling the chicken in it. the lumpy dry coat resulted in hard chunks in the finished product, too. We had a bit too much chicken for the recipe and the extra just got rolled in cornstarch instead of the dry coat mixture, and those pieces were every bit as good. We will definitely make this sauce again and twice as much!

Lavender Lynn September 09, 2014

I'm rating this mostly for the sauce, as I used already breaded veggie "chicken". Absolutely delicious with a mix of brown and white rice with lentils added. Thanks!

Sharon123 May 19, 2014