Tuesday, September 20, 2011

General's Chicken ala Recipes by Cafe Metro

Have you ever wondered why it's called General's Chicken?  This dish which is made from deep fried chicken covered with a crispy batter and covered with a sweet and spicy sauce is rumored to have been a favorite of one of China's generals back in the Qing dynasty.  The general's name was Tso Tsung-tang or Zuo Zongtang.  There are no historical proof however to verify this.  Regardless, this dish has become a favorite not only in North American Chinese restaurants but also in the Philippines.  Get General's Chicken ala Recipes by Cafe Metro after the jump.

General's Chicken ala Recipes by Cafe Marco

This dish has been referred to with a lot of names.  More common names are General Tso's Chicken, Governor Tso's chicken, General Tao's chicken, General Tsao's chicken, General Gao's chicken, General Gau's chicken, and in the Philippines, simply General's Chicken.  The variety I believe came from the confusion on how to translate Chinese into English.  Here's the Billionaire Chef's recipe for General's Chicken.

General's Chicken Recipe ala Recipes by Cafe Metro

2 servings

For the Batter:
1 egg
1/8 cup + 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

For the Sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp chili flakes (add more as desired)
1 Tablespoon Rice wine
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoon white sugar
1/3 Tablespoon vinegar (rice vinegar, apple cider, etc.)
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Calamansi juice 

Add ons:
1 Eggplant, sliced thinly into 2x3 inch chips
Flour for dredging eggplant

Cooking oil, enough to deep fry chicken and eggplant


Step 1: Prepare Eggplant chips
- Cut eggplant into 2x3 inch chips.
- Lay out on top of a kitchen cloth, cover on top with another cloth.  Pound to release the eggplant’s water or put a heavy weight on top and leave it for 15 minutes.
- When chips are dehydrated, dredge in flour and set aside for deep frying.

Step 2: Prepare Chicken and batter
- Debone Chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Mix 1 egg and 1/8 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in a bowl.  Beat until well incorporated.
- Dip chicken pieces in batter and coat thoroughly when ready to deep fry.

Step 3: Prepare Sauce
- Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl except for chili flakes and garlic cloves.  Taste and adjust sauce as necessary.  Set Aside.

Step 3: Fry eggplant chips and chicken
- Heat oil in deep fryer or wok (around 375 degrees). 
- Deep fry eggplant chips until golden/dark brown in color.  Remove from oil and set aside to drain.
- Deep fry chicken pieces in batches.  Fry just enough to cook chicken pieces through and batter is golden color.  Set aside while letting the excess oil drain.

Step 4: Serving and plating the dish
- 5-10 minutes before serving, sauté minced garlic and chili flakes in frying pan and then add chicken pieces to reheat.  Stir to coat chicken pieces with garlic and chili flakes. 
- Add prepared sauce into pan and let simmer until sauce thickens.
- Add eggplant chips and stir to coat chips with sauce as well.
- Serve immediately.

General Tso's Chicken

Try making this dish at home and let me know what you think.  Have fun cooking and keep on enjoying good food!

The General's Chicken at Recipes had chunks of eggplant instead of chips.  If you prefer it this way, just cut the eggplant into the desired size and deep fry or saute the eggplant with the garlic and chili flakes before adding the chicken pieces at the last step.       

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