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40 responses to “General Tso’s Pheasant”

  1. Jen

    I frequently make general tso’s pork for my family, I have yet to find a sauce recipe that I truely enjoy so I am really excited to try this. I use cubes of lean pork from the hind quarter. I find I can substitute lean pork for chicken in almost anything that calls for chicken breast.

  2. Lynn

    Love your description of steam table, Chinese restaurant General’s chicken- funny and so right on! I’ve tended to steer clear of Chinese restaurants in general (no pun intended) for that reason, and like Americanized Mexican food, a heap of overcooked food drowning in sauce. But again you temp me to step back and consider making this dish at home 😉 (Nice lead picture Holly!)

  3. Ken Niejadlik

    Is there any substitute for the egg yolks in the marinade? I have an egg allergy

  4. Kevin

    Shame? Aint no shame when it comes to GTC.

    And it’s the Drunken-Melancholy-Panda I’ll have you know!

  5. houseoftang

    I was totally channeling some Jennifer.8.Lee while reading this!:

    Also, not a great article to start the morning with :hunger pangs x bazillion:

  6. Will

    Well played. Can’t beat the general’s chicken.

    One question, when I’ve searched for tips on the battering and saucing of american-chinese dishes like this one or orange chicken, I’ve encountered numerous different ways of battering/breading the meat to keep it crispy with the sauce added later. How did this batter hold up? What would be the differences, if any, between corn or potato starch? (so maybe more than one question)

    I just made orange duck (almost identical just add some oj and orange rind, a little more soy, and no tomato paste) two weeks ago using an amalgamation of a few recipes and while the sauce was really good, the batter didn’t hold up once the sauce was added. Suppose I’ll try your method here; it looks awesome.

  7. Al Webster

    Made this tonight…great stuff. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. The Internet Kitchen: DC | Macheesmo

    […] General Tso’s Pheasant – A new take on an old Chinese food classic! I love the variation on this although you may not be able to actually find pheasant unless you hunt them yourself. (@ Hunter Angler Gardner Cook) […]

  9. Jennifer Kleffner

    Yum. For a great read on Chinese food in America, I highly recommend “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” by Jennifer 8 Lee. And yes, her middle name is “8”. Which is good luck in Chinese. And has caused her all kinds of issues with online ordering, as they won’t take a number for a middle name. Ha.

  10. Peggy

    We have accept to ordering pheasant at work, so I’m anxious to give this a try! Looks awesome!

  11. Seth

    So i made this last night, sort of… In lieu of going to the grocery I used what we had in the house and it turned out seriously yummy, i cant wait to make it again and actually follow the recipe. The sauce was the main difference, I used Hoisin instead of tomato paste, and teriyaki instead of soy, also since i had zero peppers on hand i added pepper preserves into the sauce. The best part of this process was figuring out how to batter and fry the bird to get that authentic Asian battered feel…try this recipe! thanks Hank!

  12. Natalie

    Made this with a combination of duck & goose meat tonight- delicious! Only other “what we had in the house subsitutions” were ground ginger instead of fresh & a small yellow onion (chopped) instead of green onion. I suggest adding some sesame seed or chopped peanut at the end as well- adds a nice crunch! Happy harvesting!

  13. Will

    Well I ended up making this last week, defrosted another package of breasts and legs that Pops sent my way a while back. I used four breasts which ended up a bit more than the recipe called for, believe it was around a pound and a third. I was a little concerned this would be stretching the sauce, but it was perfect.
    The marinade ends up producing a lightly crisped coating that concentrates all that good garlicky/gingery/vinegary goodness. By far the most flavorful version of this dish I’ve had. It packs a punch. So easy, so quick and so addictive.
    The legs went into a pheasant and dumplings the following evening and also scored big…… thanks again.

  14. Quinn

    Confession: when I read this recipe, my true thought was not “I want to make this delicious dish!” but rather, “I want someone to make this delicious dish for me!” Sigh. Does this make me a bad person?

    Thanks for all the great inspiration throughout the year. I subscribe to and love your blog, and am not always as lazy as I am today. Honest.

  15. Tony D

    We tried this with a nice local chicken and gotta say it was fad! Since we served it with some broccoli we upped the sauce volume by about 50%. Also added a little orange zest. A definite keeper.

  16. Charles

    You are right, chicken crack it is. Made it once had to make it again. Had it last nite & I’m jonesing for it again. Will try this with all kinds of meats and other variations. Thanks Hank. as my buddy says this is the very back of the cat’s …

  17. Ron Lentz

    Wow! Made it tonight and it was spectacular! Thank you, Hank!

  18. Patrick

    This was a winner, big-time, in our household. The only thing we’re changing up is to serve the fried bird over the bowl of rice, veggies, and sauce so that the crust stays crispy and doesn’t get gummy.

    Calling this crack cocaine is an understatement.

  19. Kris

    Made this last night and it was really nice. The only substitution I made was Rice Vin for Black vin. I wonder what the difference would have been?

  20. Brittany

    Reusing oil when you’ve already fried something in it? That sounds like a bad idea…

  21. Michael

    Hank, I made this last night with some woodcock I had left over from last season. It was absolutely amazing! Thank you for doing what you do. I’ve shared your site with all my pals who hunt, forage, fish, or like to cook.

  22. Felix Zapata

    Made this recipe today, and it turned out to be just like chicken they make on the Chinese restaurant or a Lil bit better.. I actually added 4 tablespoons of sugar to the sauce and it gave it the perfect taste,because one tablespoon is to little for my taste.. other than that it was great with some rice.

  23. Jake

    I just made this recipe and it exceeded all expectations. My supermarket didn’t carry tien tsin chiles so I substituted four Fresno peppers instead. I used a small yellow onion and I also didn’t have any sesame oil on hand. Due to the difference in onions I cooked those first and then added the peppers, etc.

    Per Felix, I used four tablespoons of sugar in the sauce and it worked out perfectly. The flavors came together quite well even with the substitutions and alterations. This recipe is great!

  24. Ed Standefer


    I read an interview with you in a free magazine at a restaurant in Santa Fe in January and have been visiting your site frequently/using your books since then. I made this recipe with leg and wing meat from a wild turkey last week and it was extremely tasty (I made a couple of ingredient substitutions due to living in small town Texas). It did an excellent job making meat that is often tough and gamely enjoyable and flavorful. Thank you for your recipes and your website. I have been hunting all of my short life and its really cool to have such a catalog of new dishes to try with the game I am lucky enough to procure, and to have new things to try when cooking everything else. Please keep up the great work!

    Best regards,

    Ed Standefer

  25. Chad Low

    Oh man, your narratives are always gold, but this one really hit home. There are 3.5 days left of pheasant season here in Utah, and this recipe is happenin baby!

  26. Jim

    I love your recipe, very similar to what I have done with duck and shrimp. I don’t use the tomato paste. My son is in the Marines and likes to cook so I am sending him your site. Thank you for sharing your creativity and wit.

  27. Matt

    After having an extremely successful cottontail hunt, I decided to try this recipe with your suggested substitute. Unfortunately I live in a culinary wasteland so I didn’t have the black vinegar and had to go with malt. Everyone agreed it was good but had a little bit extra vinegar taste. I’ll try this again with either less malt vinegar or order some actual black vinegar. It’s a great way to utilize the dozen rabbits still in the freezer.

  28. Roy

    I want to try this recipe, but there are more ways to fix pheasants than I have pheasants! Do you think this would be funky if I used some of my sharptails instead?

  29. Bruno

    Another winner! Made it with ruffed grouse and to my surprise, the flavor of the bird was very much still there. I was afraid the deep frying would make it taste like chicken. It was also very tender and moist which is not always easy with boneless grouse.

    I had my doubts about the batter after I put the grouse in, thinking there would no be enough. Maybe my pieces were a little small and required more batter to be coated properly. I fried a test piece and it was not right. I decided coat the battered grouse with corn starch and fried a couple more pieces and it turn out perfect, very crisp.

    I used much less hot pepper so it would suit my kids taste and everybody loved it.

  30. Dennis

    Have made this 2x and love it. Thanks for what you do. When I add the ginger it splatters horribly and clumps quickly. Any suggestions ? I’m using a wok over electric. To high heat? Ginger to wet?

  31. Dan

    Dog found a couple of ditch chickens this morning. General Tso’s tonight, and will confit the legs on Friday. Your site and books are pure gold!

    Thanks, Hank!

  32. Kevin Harvey

    What kind of peppers do you use for this? I made it and it was very good but I am sure I didn’t have the right peppers.

  33. Shem Carlson

    I’m making this on Saturday with a combination of pheasant and cottontails, however, I’m going to have to leave out the eggs. My wife and kids are allergic.

  34. Dan L

    This was really good subbing in frog legs. Thanks for the recipe!

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