I had an insane idea the other night to make chinese food. I LOVE chinese food and every now and then I just crave it. Growing up, my parents would literally order one of pretty much everything on the menu. We had to drive 30 minutes one way to the chinese restaurant. I remember every time we ordered we left with 2 HUGE boxes filled with food. This chinese restaurant was awesome – They would also give my parents a bunch of extra egg rolls and other extra food because we ordered so much. I still think it’s the best chinese food I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because it’s the only chinese food I knew for 15 years of my life and I grew to know it & only it.
Making chinese food at home seemed like a taunting task and honestly, I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted. I called my hubby before I headed to the store and told him to pick 1 of his favorite foods from chinese & I would try to tackle it. He wanted general tso. I’ve NEVER made chinese food at home in my life…. but I knew if I was going to do it, I couldn’t JUST make general tso. So, I opted for general tso, fried spring rolls (since the egg roll wrappers are made from wheat), beef and broccoli and veggie fried rice. Oh and I also picked up some packaged asian noodles that semi reminded me of lo-mein. Ok, here we go! I’ll be posting all of the recipes over the next few days so keep an eye out! 🙂
For the chicken I bought 2 boneless skinless breasts and cut them into bit size pieces.
I added my chicken to a bowl and then I started to pour corn starch over top of the chicken and mixed it with my hands. I did this until the pieces were evenly coated.
Then I dropped the breaded pieces of chicken into hot peanut oil & fried them for 5 minutes. Make sure you’re not overcrowding your pan – Just put enough pieces in where they each have their own space. Turn them ½ way through. Remove from the oil & put on a plate covered with a napkin.
You’re going to repeat that step – Once you’ve fried all of your chicken once, refry them again for another 5 minutes. This is going to get them really brown and crispy and delicious looking. Once they’ve been fried twice, add them back to a plate covered with a fresh paper towel.
Now it’s sauce time. Guys, I’m not going to lie to you here… my sauce wassssn’t that good. First of all, I was trying to tackle 5 chinese meals at one time and for the first time. Not that that’s an excuse to have a crappy sauce, but I was in a hurry and it was about 9PM and my husband was starving. So yes, I believe I just gave you five excuses. 😀 Anyway, I didn’t measure anything that I was throwing into this cast iron skillet because I kept tasting it and then adding more to it.
If I were to do it again, I would try to measure out my ingredients and follow the sauce recipe on this website: Serious Eats – General Tso Chicken – I haven’t tried it yet but I will next time I make this.
My general tso’s turned out pretty good – It had just the right crunch & the sauce was good, it just didn’t remind me of the general tso sauce I was used to.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the sauce:
Gluten free soy sauce
Distilled white vinegar
Crushed red pepper
1. Cut your boneless chicken chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
2. Add your cut up chicken to a bowl & sprinkle on corn meal. Mix around with your hands until all of the chicken has been evenly coated – Use just enough corn meal to coat all of your chicken.
3. Add your peanut oil to a deep frying pan & heat. Once heated, drop your corn meal covered chicken into the frying pan & fry for 5 minutes – flipping ½ way through to make sure both sides are fried if you’re using a shallow pan
–>>Do not overcrowd your pan when frying. Take your time & fry in smaller batches<<–
4. Once your chicken has fried for 5 minutes, set it on a plate covered with a napkin.
5. Re-fry your chicken a second time for 5 minutes, again turning ½ way through if you’re using a shallow pan. This will leave your chicken crispy and brown and delicious looking.
6. Start making your sauce – As I mentioned above, I threw together gluten free soy sauce, chicken stock, peanut oil, distilled white vinegar, crushed red pepper, sesame seeds, and sugar. I added a little bit at a time and I tasted it. Then I would adjust it as necessary. I let my sauce heat up and added a little bit of corn meal to thicken it.
** If I were to do it again (after doing some research online since the night I made this recipe I would follow this recipe for this sauce – Serious Eats – The Best General – it’s generally the same ingredients with some more added & gives you the exact measurements). I also think brown sugar might be a better option for this recipe over white sugar. But, I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t confirm for sure.
7. Once I was happy with my sauce, I then dumped my fried chicken right into it on the skillet and mixed it all around so my chicken was coated.
Have you ever made general tso at home? What’s your favorite recipe???