Monday, February 05, 2007

Vibe Check? General Tso

We here at the Jam Zone take jamming very seriously. One of our all time favorite jams is that of the General Tso. Brandy, our resident jammer, previously posted a telling account of how this Hunanese dish came into existence. It was thorough and informative and we implore all jammers to read up and jam some facts before you jam some Tso's. Right now though, we digress and for a brief celebratory minute, let's bypass origins and head right for the buffet known as results. Here for your loving embrace is the the fabled General’s recipe in all it’s sweet and savory glory.

General Tso’s Chicken

(In this Taiwanese version, the dish is hot and sour and lacks the sweetness of its Americanized counterpart.)

For the sauce:

· 1 tablespoon double-concentrate tomato paste, mixed with 1 tablespoon water

· ½ teaspoon potato flour

· ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce

· 1½ teaspoons light soy sauce

· 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

· 3 tablespoons chicken stock or water

For the chicken:

· 12 ounces (about 4 to 5) skinless, boneless chicken thighs

· ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce

· 2 teaspoons light soy sauce

· 1 egg yolk

· 2 tablespoons potato flour

· 1 quart peanut oil, more as needed

· 6 to 10 dried red chilies

· 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger

· 2 teaspoons minced garlic

· 2 teaspoons sesame oil

· Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish.

1. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. To prepare the chicken, unfold the chicken thighs and lay them on a cutting board. Remove as much of the sinew as possible. (If some parts are very thick, cut them in half horizontally.) Slice a few shallow crosshatches into the meat. Cut each thigh into roughly ¼ -inch slices and place in a large bowl. Add the soy sauces and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the potato flour and 2 teaspoons peanut oil and set aside. Using scissors, snip the chilies into ¾ -inch pieces, discarding the seeds. Set aside.

3. Pour 3½ cups peanut oil into a large wok, or enough oil to rise 1½ inches from the bottom. Set over high heat until the oil reaches 350 to 400 degrees. Add half the chicken and fry until crisp and deep gold, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the second batch. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok clean.

4. Place the wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. When hot, add the chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds, until they just start to change color. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds longer, until fragrant. Add the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice. Serves 2 to 3. Adapted from “The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook,” by Fuchsia Dunlop.


At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Asasia said...

People should read this.


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