I called this recipe General Tso's Chicken yesterday and I think it is very similar except for the addition of orange, but what do I know. It had been so long since I had it that I forgot what it is :) Whatever you want to call this, it is so tasty - very pungent, with a sweet and sour type flavor that is tempered by orange. You can add less or more spices, whatever veggies you prefer, and substitute honey for the sugar (but do not use brown). You can also omit the wine, but it adds a layer of complexity to the sauce.
The recipe seems complicated but it isn't. Just read it through first as you need to do some prep work and have everything chopped, then cook assembly line style. First prepare the sauce and allow about an hour for the flavors to "marry" as they say. The rice (or noodles) should be started about 30 minutes before you begin to fry the chicken. You should also have water boiling and ready to blanch the broccoli quickly, then strain and put it on paper towels to wick away water.
Crispy Sticky Chicken
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate (without the water added)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or less depending on taste)
- 1 tsp chili paste OR 1/4 tsp cayenne/red pepper flakes (add more or less to your taste)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch in a Ziploc bag
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into thin slices
- canola oil for deep frying
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1.5 inch long thin matchsticks (I cut it in half then slice strips)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced fine
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 large crown of broccoli, trimmed and blanched
- steamed Jasmine rice (I boil 1 cup uncooked in 2 cups salted water for 4 servings)
1. Trim the chicken into thin slices, pat it dry if necessary, and put it on a lined baking sheet that will fit into your fridge to chill. You want to lay it out flat so the pieces don't clump together, and also you want it very cold as chicken fries better that way. An hour of chilling should be fine.
2. Prepare the sauce and set it aside, allowing it to marinate for at least an hour.
3. Have all your veggies chopped and ready to go. About 30 minutes before you want to eat, wash the rice and get it going, and start a boiling pot of water to blanch the broccoli in.
4. Heat the oil to fry the chicken. I use medium heat and canola oil, filling the pan enough to deep fry (about 2 cups). The oil is ready to fry when you sprinkle a pinch of cornstarch in the oil and it sizzles/bubbles (about 350 degrees I think).
Coat the chicken in cornstarch by shaking it in the Ziploc bag. Work in small batches so the chicken doesn't stick together and clump. Fry in small batches as well so that you don't lose oil temperature.
The chicken cooks quite quickly - 3 minutes is all you really need, but test a piece to make sure. The cornstarch doesn't brown like flour does, so you can't go by that. Set cooked chicken on a paper towel covered plate and put into a 220 degree oven to keep heated.
5. Add a bit of sesame oil (optional) and canola oil to a clean pan. Saute the ginger and garlic until it sizzles, but don't allow it to turn brown. Add the sauce and cook on a low boil until it turns thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.
At this point I dump the broccoli into the boiling water, boil it for 2-3 minutes then rinse it with cold water (this keeps the bright green).
6. Add the red pepper and green onions to the sauce, then add the chicken and gently coat. The chicken will soak up all the sauce, this is not a "saucy" dish.
7. Pat broccoli dry on paper towels, put it into a shallow bowl or place and place the chicken on top. Serve it with the rice or noodles. SO yummy! This serves four, make extra rice if you have a big eater lol.
Let me know if you try it, I hope you like it! Be back with a card today too :)