General Shoe’s Chicken

by | Jan 12, 2022

general tso chicken pinch recipe

General Shoe’s Chicken

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Our take on what might be the most popular American take-out dish. It’s a delightful combination of crunchy fried chicken pieces in a spicy, savory, sweet sauce. (About the name – I have a nickname of “Shoe” that some people use ~ a friend declared this recipe “General Shoe’s Chicken” after we made it for them).

We stumbled into this version of the recipe as we lacked some key ingredients for our go-to recipe from Serious Eats. We found our substitutions made for a delicious take on this classic dish.

The key substitution is to use our Chili Crisp mix in place of garlic, ginger and chilies. We also used some our our organic poultry seasoning, Finger Lickin’ Chicken, and water in place of chicken stock.

Note: We cooked this as a small side dish/appetizer for 3 people. If intended for a meal, I’d double the recipe and serve with rice.


  • Author: Thomas "Shoe" McGee
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 45 min (plus 1 hour minimum marinade)
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer / Side
  • Cuisine: American



For the Chicken and Marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons vodka
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking wine (we used sweet vermouth)
  • 3 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


For the Dry Dredge:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Finger Lickin’ Chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons cooking wine
  • 1 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Crisp
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


Frying the Chicken:

  • 46 cups of cooking oil


  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy and then whisk in the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, wine, vodka, cornstarch and baking soda). Add chicken and mix to thoroughly coat each piece. Set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, as this also gives the spices some time to bloom in the sauce.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix dry dredge ingredients together (flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt) and set aside.
  3. In a canning jar or medium bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients (sugar, water, Finger Lickin’ Chicken, soy sauce, cooking wine, vinegar, corn starch, Chili Crisp and sesame oil). Shake or whisk to combine.
  4. When you’re ready to cook your General Shoe’s Chicken (after the minimum 1 hour fridge marinade), heat the cooking oil in a wok or Dutch oven to 350 degrees.
  5. At the same time, heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Shake or whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens, and keep it simmering until ready to serve.
  6. Coat each piece of chicken in the dry dredge and fry in oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Depending on your pan, you may need to cook the chicken in several batches. Try to maintain the oil temperature between 325 and 350 and adjust the cooking temperature as needed.
  7. Remove cooked chicken from hot oil. Drain on a drip pan or paper towels.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken and sauce. Toss to completely coat. Serve immediately.
  9. Garnish with fresh scallions or sprinkle some extra chili crisp to add some crunch and heat.


This recipe can be made with our super hot version of the chili crisp, Falls City Reaper, for an exhilarating experience. We also made a vegetarian version of this, using seitan in place of the chicken, and it was declared a hit.

We served this as a small plates for 3 people and everyone was wishing we had made more. We strongly suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe.

Did you try this recipe?

How did you like it? Let us know by tagging @pinchspicemarket on Instagram or Facebook.


  1. What does that mean “cooking wine”?


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