General Tso’s chicken.
General Tso’s Chicken is one of those relatively modern day dishes with a surprisingly disputed history. One would think that dishes developed as recently as the 1970’s would have their history clearly defined. It is a constant source of amusement that this is often not the case.
In similar fashion the history of both the Chicken Tikka Masala and Balti Curry are both hotly disputed. What is undeniably true is that as a species we humans live to argue about shit that really aint all that important.
The thing that is generally accepted is that it is a battered chicken dish in a spicy sauce. To be honest that is so common to so many Chinese style dishes.
I usually use a deep fat fryer for this sort of dish. It just gives me a little more control over temperature.
It also means that I do not have to worry about fat spilling all over my cooker top! But a stove top is fine, just don’t fill your pan with more than a third of oil.
If you are a regular here you will be more than aware that I am very happy to splash out the spicy recipes once in a while. Now there is an elephant in the room when it comes to spicy recipes. Unquestionably as food writers we avoid the question of ‘heat’ like the plague.
Why? Well because it is so incredibly personal. What one person will find unbearably volcanic another will find mild. It is just one of those things that is almost impossible to explain or quantify.
Fortunately I think most of us, on balance, are more than aware where our tolerance levels are when it comes to the spicy wee beasties that chillies are.
As a result you should do what you feel comfortable with add chili to suit your own needs. However, if you are stripping of chili remember to replace that flavour. As with most recipes omitting an ingredient leaves a hole, you need to plug that hole!
A Word Of Caution!
One final word of caution, we are in essence throwing a lot of dried chili into hot oil at the start of this recipe, it will atomise the capsaicin. You really do not want your face anywhere near that stuff!
In other words keep your head away from the top of the wok and make sure your extraction is running. This bad boy has the potential to make you cry!