General Tso's Chicken
Duration: 2 hours including marination
‘General Tso’s Chicken’ is the most famous Hunanese dish in the world.
Legend says one of the most notable Taiwanese chefs Peng Chang-kuei invented this dish in the 1950s while serving a group of U.S. defence personnel & named it after a 19th century Chinese military leader. However it didn’t become popular until then-President Richard Nixon made his famous visit to China in 1972 & it soon became a favourite of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who often visited Chang-kuei’s restaurant in NYC.
Fun Fact: despite its international reputation, there is no record of this dish in the classic texts on Hunanese food and cooking – vast majority of Hunanese people have still never heard of General Tso’s chicken, yet it is now being adopted as a “traditional” dish by some influential chefs & food writers in Hunan itself. Perhaps it would have been embarrassing to admit that the most famous “Hunanese” dish in the world was a product of the exiled nationalist society of Taiwan?
- 1kg chicken thigh – cubed
- 1 1/2 cup rice wine
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 2-3 green chillies
- 2 spring onions
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 3-4 tbsp oil
- 1tbsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- Marinate the chicken with 1 cup rice wine and 1/4 cup soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- In a bowl, combine the flour with salt.
- Remove the chicken from marinade and coat all the chicken thoroughly with flour.
- Heat oil and fry the chicken until golden brown.
- Remove chicken from oil and set aside to drain on paper towels.
- In a separate pan, heat oil with some garlic, ginger and chillies.
- Add some rice wine, soy sauce, wine vinegar and sugar.
- Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Take a small bowl and make a corn starch slurry and add it to the mixture, stirring frequently.
- Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the cooked chicken.
- Remove from heat once they are well coated in sauce.
- Garnish with spring onions and serve.