Finding a decent Chinese take away where I live is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It cannot be done. To get good Chinese I have to go to Baaahston into Chinatown for the real stuff. And for good Italian I go to the North End. Do I go into Boston a lot? Hell no. I'm lucky if I cross the bridge to leave the island. So that leaves me with recreating some of my favorite Chinese dishes at home. If any of you are General Tso chicken lovers then have I got the perfect dish for you. This was so so so so good. I'm a fussy eater of my own cooking creations, I have to have perfection or I will not eat it. I scarfed this one down. It was way better than PF Chang's--and that's saying a lot from me. Sorry PF Chang's, I still love you and will still come for the shrimp with candied walnuts & melons.
general dawn’s spicy tso chicken
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
4 boneless chicken breasts (you can use dark meat)
2 ts cayenne pepper
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 TB cornstarch
1 – 1 ½ cups of panko crumbs
1 large orange, zested
1 ¼ cups orange juice (with pulp is best)
½ cup dark brown sugar
3-4 TB plum sauce
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 ts hot pepper flakes
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 – 2 TB cornstarch
1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
¼ - ½ cup of sweet & spicy pecans (I found at Trader Joe’s)
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, use about one bottle of veggie oil or enough oil to cover your pot about 1/3 of the way full. Heat pot over medium heat until oil reaches 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken into 2 or 3-inch pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cayenne, salt & black pepper, set aside.
In another large bowl mix the flour, cornstarch and salt & pepper, set aside.
In a medium bowl put the panko crumbs in.
Dip the chicken in batches, first in egg mixture, then in the flour mixture and shake to coat. Then coat in the panko crumbs, making sure to push down and get them nice and coated. Line them up on a tray to get ready for frying. It’s best to let them sit for a few minutes to absorb all the dry coatings.
To prepare sauce use a large sauté pan, melt 6 TB of the butter, then add in the orange zest, orange juice, dark brown sugar, hot pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add in the 3-4 TB of plum sauce, bring to a boil again and sprinkle on the cornstarch (use your hands or a sifter to avoid any cornstarch clumps). Stir well, let cornstarch dissolve, taste as you go, it might need a pinch or two of salt. Let simmer a bit till thickened—maybe 10 minutes? Add the last 2 TB of butter, stir until melted.
Carefully place chicken in hot oil and fry in small batches until golden and crispy; should take about 5 - 8 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to paper towels to dry a bit. (this recipe belongs to dawn finicane)
Add the cooked chicken to the sauté pan with the sauce and toss until evenly coated. Then add in the red pepper strips and pecans, toss again and serve with white sticky rice.