1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
For the sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced (about 1-inch)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
3 1/2 cups peanut oil, for frying
8 small dried chili peppers
1 bunch green onion, finely sliced
3-4 cups broccoli, cut into florets
1. In a bowl, mix together the egg, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Add the chicken pieces, mix to coat and marinate for at least 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and reserve. (I skip chopping the garlic and ginger, put all the sauce ingredients in a hand blender cup, and blend away.)
2. Heat a wok over high heat for 40 seconds. Add the peanut oil and heat to 350*F. Place chicken into the oil, trying to separate with your fingers. Deep fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is browned, crisp and cooked through. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken with a Chinese strainer and drain over a bowl. Pour off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok.
3. Heat the wok over high heat for 20 seconds. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the chilies and stir for 15 seconds. Add the green onion and stir for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and stir until tender-crisp. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir the sauce mixture, pour into the wok, stir well, and cook until the chicken cubes are completely coated with sauce, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat, transfer to a heated dish, and serve.
I’m not entirely sure which cookbook this originally came from, but based on the ingredients I’m guessing it’s from one of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s excellent books.
I’ve never actually had General Tso’s Chicken in a restaurant so I’m not sure how this compares. That said, no one has ever not wanted seconds, so I consider it a success regardless of its similarity to the restaurant version. You can easily adjust the heat of the dish by adding fewer (or more) of the red dried chilies. Feel free to use vegetables other than broccoli depending on your tastes and, if you like a saucier dish, the sauce ingredients are quite simple to double or even triple!