While General Tso remains famous in his home province of Hunan, it turns out the eponymous dish named after him is relatively unknown.
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. chicken stock
7 tbsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. rice vinegar
6 tbsp. tomato paste
5 tbsp. light soy sauce
4½ tsp. dark soy sauce
2¼ lb. boneless, skinless chicken
thighs, cut into 1½″ cubes
3½ cups plus 9 tbsp. peanut oil
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp. minced ginger
2 tbsp. minced garlic
16 chiles de árbol
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
1. Whisk stock, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, vinegar, tomato paste, 3 tbsp. light soy sauce, 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce, and 3 tbsp. water in a bowl; set sauce aside.
2. Place remaining cornstarch and both soy sauces, chicken, 3 tbsp. peanut oil, and egg yolks in a bowl; toss. Pour 3½ cups peanut oil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Working in batches, add chicken; fry, tossing, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towels; set aside. Discard oil; wipe wok clean.
3. Return wok to high heat, and add remaining peanut oil. Add ginger, garlic, and chiles; fry, stirring constantly, until fragrant and chiles begin to change color, about 30 seconds. Add reserved sauce; cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add chicken; fry, tossing constantly, until evenly coated with sauce, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sesame oil. Transfer to a serving plate; top with scallions.