Fuchsia Dunlop's General Tso's Chicken
Chinese food expert and cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop was at Williams-Sonoma in New York City earlier this week to promote her new book Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province. Serious Eats tagged along with her to bring you this video, in which she prepares a Taiwanese version of General Tso's chicken.
General Tso's chicken is the creation of Hunan-born chef Peng Chang-kuei, who cooked under one of the most prestigious chefs of his generation. Peng fled Mao's China to Taiwan in 1949 and continued cooking there, where he invented General Tso's chicken in the '50s, though it was much different from the sweet version most non-Hunanese Westerners are familiar with, being more sour and hot, as in keeping with its origins. Mr. Peng emigrated to New York CIty in the early '70s, when he Westernized the dish for his eponymous restaurant there, adding sugar for non-Hunanese palates.
The version Ms. Dunlop prepares in the video is more in line with the dish's origins and lacks the sugar Mr. Peng added to it.
Recipe: Fuchsia Dunlop's General Tso's Chicken, courtesy Ms. Dunlop
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If you would like a wok to prepare this dish, Williams-Sonoma has several to choose from.