Food - Drink
J. Kenji López-Alt's Boozy Addition For Crispier General Tso's Chicken
BY KATIE LENHARDT
Modern General Tso’s chicken may be far from authentic Chinese food, but it's an icon in the canon of Chinese-American restaurant fare. If you want homemade General Tso's chicken with a tangy sauce and crave-able crunch, chef J. Kenji López-Alt recommends a secret ingredient for extra-crisp and craggy breading on your chicken.
López-Alt took on the task of improving classic General Tso's chicken in a piece for Serious Eats. He creates a sauce with a delectable balance between sweet and tangy, but it's the addition of vodka to his chicken batter that truly sets the recipe apart, since vodka is a gluten inhibitor that prevents the coating from turning chewy.
Vodka prevents too much tough gluten from forming in the cooked chicken's coating and keeps it light and crisp. Alcohol also evaporates faster than water, so vodka in the batter means the chicken will fry quicker, and some vodka in the chicken's dredging mixture also creates delicious nooks and crannies that stay crisp after saucing.