1/19/10

general 'dawn' tso's chicken

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
by Dawn
print recipe

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
4 boneless chicken breasts (you can use dark meat)
3 eggs
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

Sauce:
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.

58 comments:

  1. I'm sure it won't be long before you abandon your love for PF Chang's, because the way things look, you are surpassing them :) I love GTChicken-- but very very hot, of course ;)

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  2. I can't wait to have dinner at your house!!

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  3. you did a beautiful job on this!

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  4. Wow, first time I've craved general tsao's in like forever.

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  5. That looks flippin' amazing. Please come cook for me.

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  6. Who needs take out with this!!! It looks awesome Dawn.

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  7. Jeff and I are drooling together. You amaze me!!

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  8. Oh Lord you should live where I live and try to find Chinese...NOT. This looks amazing...the color and just everything.

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  9. Josh will love this! He always complains there is no good Chinese food in Utah. He is right:)

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  10. Chinese food in my town is hit or miss, lately more miss. This looks excellent! Better than any take out.

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  11. Oh my this looks good. I wish I'm your neighbor and I could have dinner at your house too!

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  12. ooh that looks so good. Finding a good take out place here is pretty difficult too.

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  13. Pretty cool blog you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

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  14. I shed the same tears over the lack of good Chinese food in our part of the world. However, there's a restaurant near Providence that does the General Tso's coating on chunks of cod, and it's absolutely delicious. Have you tried that?

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  15. "Take Away" cracks me up. Is that a Cali thing or a Nor'Easter thing? Only because here in the midwest it is 'take out'.

    Only had GT chicken once and was not a fan, but I think it was poorly done and I'm a wimp when it comes to hot things. Your's looks ah-maze-ing!

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  16. PF Chang can wait. I'd rather take your version instead.

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  17. Oh one of my favorite Chinese dishes....the sinful one. I love how you renamed it. :)

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  18. Love General Tso's!! I have to make my Chinese at home because when we eat it out I don't feel so well after - so glad to have this recipe from you and the photo makes me want to dig right in - even if it isn't even 5 AM yet!

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  19. I love doing takeout at home! This looks way better than the original. Josh would have much love for this dish. I may have to go this a go ;) Hows the week? Workouts been good to you?

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  20. i salute you, general--you do nice work. the sauce looks like the perfect balance of ingredients.

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  21. Wow that looks so great!

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  22. Dawn this is some chicken I can get into. I can't touch the stuff at the Chinese restaurants, it always makes my toes and fingers swell - but this, this I could totally do at home and know exactly what I was putting into it! You are awesome!

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  23. Dawn you are such an amazing cook - this looks WAY better than anything you get in a Chinese restaurant. Awesome photo!!!

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  24. An excellent recipe, the chicken looks just perfect!

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  25. WHOA! That looks amazing Dawn! This is my daughter Robin's FAVORITE dish when they order Chinese. I've gotta try this soon.
    We have a good Chinese place close by but I still like trying to make my own........why?
    Basically...I'm thrifty....not cheap...thrifty......that's my story and I'm stickin' to it... :)

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  26. Holy Crap! I think I've just died and gone to heaven!

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  27. My husband would flip for this. You make the best stuff and inspire me to work harder at finding the interesting recipes.

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  28. Yours will rival many I am sure.

    I've eaten at PF Chang's a few times and I have to say, except for the mini desserts, I was not at all impressed.

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  29. Looks good enough to want to make!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  30. Waw!!! I would like to make this tasty dinner tomorrow evening!!

    MMMMMM,...excellent picture, Dawn,...Drool,....Drool,...

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  31. I have always wanted to make this at home! I will definitely have to try your recipe! Yum, it looks so so good!

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  32. This looks like a down-right sinful dish ... delicious and wicked. Love the seasoning sauce.

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  33. I want take away from your house! Your photo of this dish is awesome.

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  34. Said in a high pitched baby tone:

    "MAMA!"

    I am going to make this soon! Yummy...

    My best, Lynn

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  35. that looks like candy ;) can i come for dinner?

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  36. whoa, this looks absolutely amazing. PF Changs has nothing on you!

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  37. I'm ALL over this! It looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    ~ingrid

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  38. Ok, I need to try this. Need to. NEED. I love tso, but I can't get a decent one around here at all.

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  39. I know what you mean about Chinese take out. There has to be someplace near here that is decent, but I have lived here 30 years and have not found it yet!
    We had a super take-out place in Michigan where I used to live.
    My NYC daughter takes me to some fabulous place in Chinatown to eat- very family style is all I can remember about it. But it's sooo good.
    Your photo is fabulous! The darkness of the sauce and the chunky pieces of chicken! It's making me very hungry.

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  40. Oh wow. This is a classic. Yours looks like it came right from the resto!

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  41. I could tell from the photo already that your version is way better than any take-out joint. After reading the ingredients- I was right. Great recipe and I love general tso's!

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  42. Looks delicious! Nicely done!

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  43. The pecans in this Dawn-ified dish make it sublime. Ahhh-so!

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  44. This looks delicious. It's impossible to find good chinese around here either.

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  45. I have always considered this a "restaurant" dish and here you have to go prove me wrong... in public even. GREG

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  46. I just discovered your blog (hello??! where have I been?!) and it is making be ooooh soooo hungry!

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  47. OMG give me this and a bowl of rice please! Love the glaze!

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  48. Love the title! How about naming your domain "General Dawn"? lol!!!

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  49. That photo would sell anyone but the recipe also sounds great.

    I am looking for new chicken recipes and it seems this is my lucky day.

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  50. OMG, where I live there is only Chinese restaurants or pizza joints (small college town) and NONE of them are any good. Thanks for "General Dawn's" Chicken, it is sure to come in handy around here!

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  51. This is absolute perfection Dawn, and I expect nothing less from you! Damn girl you are good!! Missed you like crazy!!

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  52. I am lucky and there is a good Chinese carryout place by my house and in cases where the beer is going down to smoothly they deliver too.

    My experimentation into Chinese food is about the extent of throwing everything in a wok and praying it tastes decent. Now you just need to perfect orange chicken.......

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  53. Hi, I wasn't sure how to contact you so I left a comment here. Your blog is really great and I wanted to invite you to join our food & wine socialnetwork @ http://www.tasteandshare.com. If you sign up you can share links, rss feeds and photos from your own blog.

    Thanks,
    Carsten

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  54. Looking at this picture, my stomach is making all kinds of rude noises!

    Beautiful Dawn, this looks fantastic! Who needs take out!

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  55. Wow! This looks better than what we'd get at the takeout place. Which usually isn't the case when I try to recreate chinese dishes. So glad to find your yummy blog!

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  56. Oh, this is good. Good for you for coming up with this on your own. It's hard for us to get good Chinese too. We have an excellent place not too far, but far enough, so I would love to make something like this at home.

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  57. Hi Dawn! Thanks so much for this recipe, my daughter has requested this for her 12th birthday next weekend. We don't usually get to eat Chinese out because of the MSG factor so this will be a real treat! I'll let you know how it goes...

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  58. Hi Dawn! I just made this....and it was amaazing! thanks for such a great recipe! The only thing that went wrong was the cornstarch clumped up when I put it in the sauce...next time I will do as you say and maybe mix it with some water first before!

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