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General’s Chicken: Fried Chicken, Soy Caramel, Smoked Peanuts, Chiles and Cilantro

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kikkoman products used:


Soy Caramel:
Grapeseed oil
1 pint sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup minced ginger, peels reserved ¼ cup minced garlic, trimmings reserved
½ cup Shao Hsing rice wine
1/3 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
¼ cup ground arbol chiles
2 tablespoons mushroom powder


Chile Oil:
1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 cloves
3 black cardamom pods
1 quart grapeseed oil
½ cup ground arbol chiles
3 bay leaves
3 sticks cinnamon
2 ounces prickly ash oil


Smoked Peanuts:
1 cup peanuts, blanched and peeled Oil for frying


Fried Chicken:
Canola oil
2 large eggs
¼ cup hot sauce
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ chickens, broken down into quarters

To Assemble and Serve:
Citrus wedges


For the Soy Caramel:
In a saucepan over high flame, heat oil and sauce garlic and ginger until lightly browned. Lower heat to medium, add sugar, and cook until dissolved, stirring constantly. Pour in vinegar and whisk to combine. Add chiles, rice wine, and soy and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer mixture 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick. Whisk in mushroom powder and season, as needed, with soy.

For the Chile Oil:
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, toast peppercorns, cumin, coriander, fennel,
cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Remove from heat, cool, and coarsely grind. In a large saucepot, combine oil, toasted spices, arbol chiles, bay leaves, cinnamon, ¼ cup garlic and ginger trimmings reserved from Soy Caramel, and prickly ash oil. Simmer for 1 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool, and strain through a chinois into a squeeze bottle.

For the Smoked Peanuts:
Prepare and heat smoker 200°F. Smoke peanuts for 2 hours. In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F and fry peanuts until medium brown. Remove from fryer and drain on paper towels until cool. Add peanuts to a food processor and coarsely grind.

For the Fried Chicken:
In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F. In a bowl, whisk to combine hot sauce and eggs. Dip chicken quarters in egg mixture and then flour, shaking off excess. Fry chicken until golden brown, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To Assemble and Serve:
To a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add Fried Chicken and drizzle Soy Caramel over top, tossing to coat the meat and further reducing the sauce. Add Peanuts and toss to coat. Plate Fried Chicken and garnish with cilantro and citrus.


By: Chef Tobias Womack


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.

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