(a variation on General Tso’s / General Gau’s Chicken)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (add more if you like it spicier; 2 is “medium spicy”)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup dry white sherry
1/3 cup pepper-infused vodka (such as Absolute Pepper)
Peanut oil, for frying
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
6-8 dried red whole “Thai Bird” chilis
3 scallions, white and green parts, cut into half inch chunks
In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin, Sriracha, sesame oil, sugar, and 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch. Stir until smooth.
In another bowl, toss chicken chunks with sherry, vodka and a pinch of salt, and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
When ready to cook, toss chicken, pour off the sherry and vodka and pat dry. Coat evenly with remaining 1/3 cup of cornstarch. Chicken should have a dry coating of cornstarch; add a little more if coating seems moist. In a large skillet over medium heat, bring peanut oil to 325F. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until chicken is brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Pour most of the oil out of the skillet, until only a thin coating remains in the pan. Add garlic and ginger to pan and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add whole chilies, chicken pieces, and scallion pieces, and toss to combine. Add sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, becomes shiny, and evenly coats chicken. Top with more sliced scallions and serve immediately with steamed rice.