Happy Friday! It feels like it’s been forever since I updated my blog. Building consistency is a key to me breaking certain habits and forming a process and procedures for my days. Please continue to have patience with me as I lay the brick and mortar of what I hope to be my empire . But let’s get right to it.
If you don’t already know, there are 7 people in my house that ages range from 4-71 so you already know the tastes and likes vary. While there is much individuality to be had when it comes to likes and dislikes there is one thing my entire family shares in common – their love of Chinese food. The one thing we can all agree on at any time is General Tso’s Chicken! The adults like it traditionally over rice, and the kids like it over Lo Mein noodles. Lunch and dinner trips to Hunan East, a local family favorite is always a great opportunity to fill our plates up with mounds and mounds of General Tso’s. Hunan’s is perfect, it’s not too sweet, or too spicy. The chicken is delicious and crispy and the sauce is like the perfect glaze coating. Now keep in mind Hunan East is a treat for my family because it’s not really convenient to our home so it’s truly a special treat when we do get it.
The second runner-up isn’t actually General Tso’s, it’s the Orange Chicken at Panda Express. It’s the next closest thing aside from Sesame Chicken (my husband can’t eat it because of his allergy to sesame) to Tso’s when it comes to my family. The one thing I like about Panda Express is that I can get a ton of it, for less than what the Chinese Food will end up costing for everything separately.
But then there are those days when I don’t want to travel for Hunan or Panda, so those are the days when a trip to my deep freezer will solve the problem. A family pack of boneless chicken thighs is the start to any General Tso’s. I have attempted General Tso’s before but it lacked the flavor or the consistency of the glaze. It was always something amiss. I even made it with the pre-made store-bought General Tso’s sauce and I still didn’t think it was close to authentic or restaurant quality. Let’s not forget those times I just say screw it and covered it with Chili sauce which proved to be okay but not the General Tso’s flavor we loved.
This is one of the first recipes that I didn’t actually find on Pinterest yet I still pinned it to my She Tried It board so that folks could pull the recipe for their own attempts. I went looking for one when I was trying to figure out what we were going to eat for dinner. I get tired of making sometimes two meals a night. Or supervising two meals a night being made when the kids prepare their own meals. It’s more work, time and mess for that matter. So the days when we can all eat and enjoy the same thing, it’s a truly win win situation. I remembered that I had picked up two family packs of boneless chicken thighs at great prices. I thawed one and set out to make a really classy General Tso’s. I thumbed through multiple recipes, reviewing ingredients and steps before deciding on the General Tso’s Chicken recipe from http://www.dinnerthedessert.com . 12 ingredients is all you need including the chicken thighs. Simple enough right?
This recipe instructions begin suggest tossing the cut up boneless chicken thighs with the 1/4 cup of cornstarch. The ingredients do call for 1 lb of chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks. So please don’t skip this step, although I saw Jeff on “The Kitchen” make a General Tso’s chicken sandwich that looked delicious. I cut up my chicken thighs into 1 inch chunks keeping the pieces as uniform as possible and tossed the chicken as directed with the cornstarch. So far, pretty easy.
Step 2 directs you to mix the sauce together with a whisk. Sauce doesn’t go far so I made a decision to double my recipe, I wanted my General Tso’s to be completely covered in deliciousness. I then set the sauce aside to begin frying the chicken chunks. Once all of the chicken chunks were crispy brown goodness I pulled out my trusty Wok and turned the heat up to Medium High. I fried my chicken in a different pan though the recipe will instruct you to do it all in the same pan. With my oil heating in the Wok, I added the garlic, chili flake and ginger (I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge) to the pan it popped like crazy all over the place even popping me in the arm. Once I had soothed my ouchie I tossed my fried chicken chunks into the Wok and coated it in the mixture a few times before pouring in the sauce in small amounts while stirring and mixing the chicken chunks. When the sauce hit the heat I could see the glaze forming as I tossed and poured it over the chicken. I poured my entire bowl of the doubled sauce in the pan and it came out looking better than the restaurant Tso’s I’ve gotten at some restaurants. It smelled delicious too. Now some of us like the ginger and garlic, we don’t like too much of it. At times it can be overpowering. Making it allowed me to control how much of it I actually wanted to use and it was as close to perfect as we all agreed.
I did it! Authentic General Tso’s from the comfort of my own home and it was delicious and EASY!! This is my new go to recipe whenever that craving creeps up on us and I’m so glad that I can share it with you and your family. I try to take pictures of the ingredients and the food throughout the process. There’s been a lot going on in my house with the kids getting over the flu and stomach viruses so I don’t have a pretty frills picture that was prepped and dressed up. I do have a picture of the final product and I promise to be more detailed next time!
It’s Friday night, who’s feeling like Chinese? Forget take out and give it a shot, let me know how it came out and show me your best shot! You can find this recipe and some other great recipes that I’ve tried under my She Tried It board on Pinterest.
Happy Grubbing and Have a Great Weekend!