Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I cooked: General Tso's Chicken #yummyph

When I saw this recipe in the April issue of Yummy magazine, I knew I had to try it. I've tried General Tso's chicken at Recipes, as well as at Nama Nama (a small eatery in Eastwood, popular with lunch crowds). It was definitely a great chicken recipe - and the recipe looked simple enough to follow. 

Before the actual recipe though, did you ever wonder who General Tso was and why this dish was named after him? I did, and I googled "the story behind General Tso's chicken." This is what I found on Wikipedia. General Tso Tsung-Tang or Zuo Zongtang is a general from Hunan province during the Qing Dynasty (19th century). The sad part is, he probably never got to taste General Tso's chicken... the only thing they had in common is that they are both from Hunan. 

It was actually Chef Peng Chang-kuei, a popular Nationalist government chef, who introduced this dish to New York in the early seventies. And this is why I say General Tso probably never got a taste of his own dish... because when the dish came out in the New York Times in 1977 (first ever public appearance, you can say!), General Tso had been dead for 92 years. And so (on that very morbid note), without much further ado, here's the General Tso's chicken recipe from the April Issue of Yummy magazine (thanks to Zinio for the digital format!)

I hope I haven't lost you to your kitchen! Don't you want to see how I did my version? I have cooked this twice... the first time with a limited audience (read: just my husband), and the second time with a wider audience (my daughter and family members within the second degree of consaguinity). I am happy to say that, both times, the dish passed the tastebud test of my very discerning clients.

My Craft
My two favorite parts in preparing this dish would be the part when the sauce is bubbling into a nice golden brown color (the smell of garlic, vinegar, sugar and rice wine will waft through the air) and the part when the chicken pieces are frying into crunchy golden brown nuggets. 

My Craft 

One thing great about this recipe is that you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. It's a wonderful dish that looks complicated but is actually quite simple to make. By the way, for chicken stock, I used the shortcut method and used this.

The best chicken stock for this would have been a homemade one, frozen into cubes. Maybe next time, I will try that. Hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine did. Thank you Yummy for the recipe!

1 comment:

  1. Oh this looks good! I used Knorr too for stock, hehe...
    Something different to try with chicken thigh fillets that I always have in the freezer - it's the best part, and easy to cook too!