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Thursday, February 11, 2016

General Tso's Chicken

An Air Force Buddy turned me on to General Tso's Chicken in the 1990's....And No, I wasn't in the Orient or in Europe somewhere on assignment...I was right here in Philadelphia and I got it from a neighborhood Chinese Food Store right in my West Philadelphia neighborhood...

I've been a fan ever since.

The recipe was created by chef Peng Chang-kuei who cooked for national banquets and eventually caught the eye of Chairman Mao Zedong himself. Chinese food’s popularity in the West exploded in the 1970s, with New York City as the capital of the western embrace of regional Chinese cooking (due to the influx of Chinese immigrants after a change in immigration policy in 1965). Two chefs, David Keh and T.T. Wang, traveled to Taiwan to learn from chef Peng in 1971, and promptly returned with a recipe for General Tso’s Chicken that they featured in their New York Times review of Hunan-style restaurants.

I didn't know this then....I didn't know it until yesterday, to tell you the truth...I've been eating this chinese delicacy for years...Now I can finally share the recipe with you...

INGREDIENTS:

For the sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon potato flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons chicken stock or water

For the chicken

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 Teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons potato flour
  • 2 Teaspoons plus 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil, plus more for deep-frying
  • 6-10 small dried red chiles, snipped into 3/4-inch sections and seeded
  • 2 Teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, green parts only (optional
DIRECTIONS: 

For the sauce

Combine all of the ingredients mentioned above in a small bowl.

For the chicken

Unfold the chicken thighs and lay them, skin side down, on a cutting board. (If some parts are very thick, lay your knife flat and slice them across in half, parallel to the board.)
Use a sharp knife to make a few shallow criss-cross cuts into the meat — this will help the flavors penetrate. Then, cut each thigh into 1 ½- to 1 ¾-inch-long slices, an uneven 1/8 inch or so in thickness. Place the slices in a bowl.

Add the soy sauces and egg yolk to the chicken and mix well. Then stir in the potato flour, and lastly 2 teaspoons of the oil. Set aside.

Place a wok over high heat and line a plate with paper towels. Add just enough oil to submerge the chicken (you may need to do this in batches) and heat to 350-400 degrees. Add the chicken and fry until crisp and golden. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to the paper towels. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and clean the wok if necessary.

Return the wok to high heat. Add the remaining cooking oil and the chiles and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing color (do not burn them). Toss in the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds more, until you can smell their aromas. Then add the sauce and stir as it thickens.
Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat the pieces in sauce. Stir in the sesame oil, then serve, with a scattering of scallions, if using.

Enjoy!! Eat well My friends!

1 comments:

Reggie said...

Absolutely one of my favorites!!!


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household