When I was a kid, I loved going to Chinese buffets. I remember having to go back multiple times and get several plates so that I could try everything. And then I pretty much had to lay down the rest of the day because I was so full. And I usually had a headache too from all of the MSG.
We don't go to Chinese buffets anymore, one, because it's rare to find a good one, and, two, it's cheaper and healthier to cook at home. And most of the time we like home-cooked food better than restaurants. Chinese Food Night is a favorite in my house. My husband loves it and so does our picky 13-year-old son. He absolutely loves stir fry. And, while we may call it Chinese, I really just cook all sorts of Asian foods and we just call it Chinese since you'll see a lot of those things typically on a Chinese restaurant buffet.
General Tso's Chicken is an American Chinese dish that's found everywhere. It's usually fried chicken pieces coated with a sweet and spicy glaze. I didn't want a thick coating of breading on the chicken, so I just lightly coated the chicken pieces with cornstarch. This turned out great and our son ate all of the leftovers! This probably isn't a traditional version, but it's my version and we all know I like to do everything my way. Hope you enjoy it!
GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN
FOR THE MARINADE:
2-3 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
One 7-ounce bottle Hoisin sauce
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 C chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-3 T chili paste, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon ginger
FOR FRYING THE CHICKEN:
Combine all of the marinade ingredients together with a whisk. Add in the chicken and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Don't discard the marinade. It will become the sauce. (Don't panic. You can cook marinades used for meat as long as you boil them and as long as they were refrigerated and not at room temperature.)
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Put the marinade into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking and bubbling until it has reduced and is thick, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place some cornstarch into a bowl. Preheat some peanut oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch and shake off the excess. Fry in batches until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until they are all fried. Put the chicken in a bowl. Pour the glaze over and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions. Great served over rice!