Recipe courtesy of Red's Chinese

General's Chicken

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Ingredients

Fried Chicken:

1/2 chicken, cut into breast, wing, thigh and drumstick

16 eggs, beaten

1 cup hot sauce, preferably Crystal

3 pounds all-purpose flour 

Oil, for frying

General's Sauce:

1 cup soybean oil

1 pound peeled and grated fresh ginger 

1 pound peeled and minced garlic 

3 pounds sugar 

2 ounces Shaoxing cooking wine 

16 ounces white vinegar 

1 ounce ground arbol chile

Slurry:

4 ounces soy sauce

2 ounces mushroom seasoning, such as Po-Lo-Ku

8 ounces cornstarch 

White vinegar, as needed to thin slurry

Garnish:

1 ounce chile oil

2 teaspoons coarse ground Korean chile flakes 

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts 

1/2 orange wedge, seeded 

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves 

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-fryer
  1. For the fried chicken: Score skin side of breast and thigh with a sharp knife to promote even cooking while keeping the meat moist and tender.
  2. Whisk together eggs and hot sauce in a bowl. Add flour to a separate bowl. Add chicken pieces first to egg mixture, then transfer to flour, coating every nook and cranny.
  3. Remove any excess flour from chicken and transfer to a sheet tray.
  4. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 300 degrees F. Add chicken thigh and breast and let cook 3 minutes, then add the wing and drumstick. Let cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece (not touching bone) registers 160 degrees F, about 9 minutes more. Let cool. (See Cook's Note.)
  5. For General's sauce: Heat soy oil in a wok (or medium saucepot) and add ginger. Cook until water from ginger is evaporated, then add garlic and cook until aromatic. Add sugar little by little, stirring continuously, and cook over medium heat until a caramel color is reached, about 20 minutes. Add Shaoxing wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add vinegar and arbol chile. Turn down heat and let simmer while making slurry.
  6. For the slurry: Add soy sauce and mushroom seasoning to a small bowl and very slowly whisk in cornstarch. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit of white vinegar to dilute.
  7. Slowly, whisk slurry mixture into wok, and cook until slurry has thickened the sauce like a proper maple syrup and the cornstarch chalkiness has left completely.
  8. Bring the oil in the deep-fryer back to 350 degrees F. Fry all chicken pieces together again until skin is golden brown, crispy, and delicious.
  9. Remove chicken from fryer and dip in sauce (making sure every little piece is smothered in saucy goodness).
  10. With metal tongs, place the saucy chicken on a really cute plate or your most cherished hardcover novel.
  11. For garnish: Garnish with chile oil, chile flakes, peanuts, orange segments and a gentle adornment of cilantro to create the most gorgeous display of a half a chicken you've ever seen (and tasted).

Cook’s Note

After dropping chicken in fryer, begin making sauce. Sauce should be completed around the same time chicken is finished par-cooking, resting and crisping up with the second fry.