General Tso's Delight: Chicken So Savory You Might Never Get Take-Out Again
With a sticky sweetness that has just enough pleasant tartness to pull all the flavors together, sweet and sour chicken is an American classic. So classic, in fact, it's considered the most popular Hunanese dish in the USA by the Smithsonian. And the best part? It only takes about 20 minutes for you to make at home.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Season the chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in 3/4 cup of cornstarch and shake off the excess.
- Coat the chicken in the beaten eggs until evenly coated. Next, heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan.
- Brown the chicken, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, and saute until they're slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
- As the chicken cooks, whisk together the water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Then, in the same bowl, whisk in the pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce.
- Add the sauce to the pan with the chicken. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired, and serve over warm white rice.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.