Crispier General Tso's Chicken - How?
I followed this video recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_dkYN...
It was pretty good, but it wasn't nearly as crispy as the artificially abnormal crispy version I'd get at a restaurant. What am I missing?
I deep fried enough, but it doesn't have that overly hard crunch I'm accustomed to.
A few things things that might help:
Make sure the peanut oil is hot enough and deep enough.
Use chicken thigh meat instead of breast meat (you can fry it longer if necessary without it drying out).
Use only egg yolks, not whole eggs, to coat the chicken.
Use potato starch instead of A-P flour (this might make the biggest difference).
It will help if you add a small amount of peanut oil (one or two teaspoons) into the batter, too. The best combination seems to be egg yolks, potato flour, a little oil and some soy sauce.
I agree with corn starch. I recently made CI orange chicken and they breaded by dipping chicken thigh pieces in egg whites, then moving to a corn starch baking soda mixture. The coating was SO crispy, even after I had fried like 5 batches, the pieces in the oven from the first batch were still super crusty. Awesome way to go!
I make mine with breasts an egg mixed with soy sauce and pepper coat the chicken and add enough corn starch to make a very sticky batter and fry and there exactly like the restaurant
Another tip, you pretty much can't go wrong with Chinese recipes by Grace Young or Fuschia Dunlop. Both are really good at describing technique, too.
Thanks everyone, I'll try again tonight. I just used up all my thighs and legs, so I'll have to use the one breast I think I have left. Shame!
I found a recipe in a book I had: Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo which I'll paraphrase here. The process of making a sauce, coating the chicken, deep frying, and finally pan frying scallions and chilies, adding the chicken and then the sauce remains the same, so I'll just post the ingredients.
2 whole chicken legs, meat cut into cubes
1 whole egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs corn starch
Mix together all the above with the chicken
1 1/2 Tbs double dark soy
1 1/2 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 tsp white rice vinegar
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp chili oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups peanut oil
3 Tbs cornstarch
8 small dried red thai chilies
4-5 scallions, white parts only, 1/2 inch pieces
Make sure the chicken itself is not overly wet. The moisture from the chicken can wet the coating and making it less crispy. A touch of baking powder also help.
+1 on the use of dark meat chicken instead of breast meat (as mentioned it holds up better in the frying, but also tastes infinitely better); also +1 to the use of cornstarch and/or rice flour to coat, making sure the oil is hot enough, and making sure the chicken pieces are good and dry before dipping into the coating which is a simple, thick slurry of the starch and/or rice flour and water. I always skip the egg in the coating...you don't need it in there, and I find that the coating is consistently a LOT crispier _without_ the egg. Also, most restaurants will fry the pieces, remove them from the oil to drain, and then fry them again.
And of course, the finished dish should not be drenched in gloppy sauce; toss the pieces in just enough sauce to lightly coat!!