24 Gen. Tso's Chicken: Step by Step

My favorite restaurant has General Tao's Chicken made my way: mild. It is a sweet and tangy dish that you can adjust the heat to any level you want. They will make your dish super spicy or they will stir fry your meat rather than fry it, if you wish...

I would eat there every day, if I could. And I would eat the same thing. Hey, if I find something I like, I order it again. After  creating this recipe, I can eat it every day, or any day that I wish.  It is easy and uses ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.

Here is my recipe, step by step.

First, make the sauce and set it in the fridge for later.  Recipe link is at the bottom of this post.

Next, take 2 semi-frozen chicken breasts (Costco size).  Cut them against the grain, in thin slices. A serrated bread knife works well.   Wonder why it's semi-frozen? Try cutting raw, slimy chicken into thin slices ... just doesn't work.

Next, get your brown rice cooking ... brown rice takes 45 minutes, so get it going! I keep my brown rice in an used ice cream bucket in the freezer, as it can go rancid.

I use 2 c. water to 1 c. rice.  It will be done by the time your chicken and sauce is done.

**Now take a cup of flour, sprinkle some white pepper in it; and whisk in a few chicken pieces. I used to do this by hand...I finally got smart and used stainless steel tongs instead.  Saved my fingers from getting "flour glue."

I put my floured chicken in a metal strainer; shake the excess flour back into the bowl.  This will keep a lot of excess flour accumulating in the bottom of your frying oil.

I then put my pieces of floured chicken in the basket of my fryer.  I have used my stove top wok or a couple of inches of oil in a saucepan to fry my chicken ... then I found this beautiful fryer at Costco for $40.  Worth every penny. You can use a deep saucepan with 2" of oil, instead of a deep fryer.

I drop the basket and immediately, the bubbles start...Dang it...did I get grease on the camera lens? Better not get too close! After about a minute, the bubbles subside and the chicken is ready to take out.

Look at all the chicken I get from 2 chicken breasts! A good way to stretch your food dollar. These babies drain on a wire cooling rack over paper towels that are resting in a cookie sheet.  Makes cleaning up so much easier!

Now it's time to get my wok ready. Any large skillet will do, really. I put the crushed red pepper flakes in the oil (only a little...my poor tongue can only take so much...I put the rest on the table for the other spicy eaters in the family). Warm up the flakes a little ... it infuses all the flavor into the oil, which will make your dish taste so much better.

I then take my prepared sauce from the fridge and slowly pour it in on top of the flavored oil. Watch this carefully ... on med-high heat, it will start to thicken very quickly ...

Turn off the stove and put the cooked chicken into the sauce.  Stir until the chicken is completely coated.

TaDa! Here it is...in all its glory.  Delish. Try it, you'll like it!  Add more red pepper flakes if you like it HOT!

**You can stir fry the thawed chicken pieces in a small amount of oil instead of dipping them in flour and frying them.

Print Friendly and PDF General Tao's Chicken
Brown Rice:
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice

Put water and rice into a medium saucepan. Stir. Cover and put over med-high heat. When water comes to a boil, reduce to low.
Cook for 45 min.
Remove lid, fluff with a fork.

2 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. ground or fresh ginger
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. apple cider (add if you like a 'tang' to your sauce)
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 t. onion powder


2 large boneless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. white pepper
1 c. vegetable oil (if frying in a wok)

1/8 t. crushed red pepper flakes (use more if you want more heat)

Mix sauce ingredients together.  Cover and store in the fridge.
Slice semi-frozen chicken in thin slices.  
Put oil in wok on med-high (375degree) heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and pepper.
Using a few chicken pieces at a time, dip into flour mixture.  Shake off excess (or use a sieve).
Put coated chicken pieces into hot oil.  Fry up to a minute; until golden brown.
Drain chicken pieces on paper towel.
Repeat until all chicken pieces are cooked.

If using a wok, drain all but 1-2 T. of oil.
Put chili peppers in oil.  Warm up peppers on medium heat for a minute or two.
Slowly pour sauce into hot oil.  
Stir constantly, until sauce thickens up.
Turn off stove.
Put cooked chicken pieces into sauce.  Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. 

Serve over hot rice.

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