General Tao's Chicken

Sweet and spicy, this popular Chinese take out dish is fun and easy to make at home!


INGREDIENTS

Chicken
1 chicken breast, cut into about 1 1/2-inch pieces (boneless and skinless)
2 chicken thighs, cut into about 1 1/2-inch pieces (boneless and skinless)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. cornstarch

Sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup to 1/ 2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch 5-spice powder (optional)
2 tsp. cornstarch

Assembly
Vegetable oil, for frying and stir-frying
Cornstarch, as needed, for dredging
6 to 8 small whole dried chiles, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
4 green onions, cut in 1 1/2-inch batons
1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets, blanched
Sesame seeds, for garnish optional
Steamed rice, for serving


PREPARATION

Chicken
Add chicken to a medium bowl. Add soy sauce, water and cornstarch and stir. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sauce
Add soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup chicken stock, sugar, 5-spice powder and cornstarch to small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Assembly
Heat wok or large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to come 2 to 3-inches up the sides of the wok. When oil is hot, dredge chicken in cornstarch and fry chicken in batches until coating is crispy and chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Remove all but 2 tbsp. oil from the wok. Heat oil over medium high to high heat. When oil is hot, add chiles and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add garlic and ginger, green onions and stir fry for 30 seconds more. Add sauce and bring to a boil. If sauce reduces too quickly, add 1/4 cup more chicken stock. Add the blanched broccoli and cooked chicken, stir frying to coat in the sauce and heat through.



Yield: 4 servings.