Growing up, we always looked forward to take-out food, especially from the local Chinese restaurant. For us it was a treat, but for mom I think it was more about a night off. While I still enjoy the occasional takeout, I now prefer to bring those flavors home and prepare them myself, utilizing the wild game we always have on hand. For this recipe I used the mixed breasts and thighs from some of my upland hunting adventures. I usually prefer to pluck my birds whole, but from time to time, I also break some of the birds down into breasts, thighs and carcasses to save and roast for stock (which I used in this recipe).
These “parted-out" birds also lend themselves nicely to a number of different preparations, which a whole bird would not be as well-suited. This recipe is certainly one of the most popular found at Chinese-American restaurants across the country, but the combinations of the wild game, freshest ingredients and the fragrant ginger and orange zest bring it all together in what I feel is a more flavorful and satisfying finale.
General Tso’s Partridge
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
For the Partridge
(Note: Almost any poultry, or wild game will work well here. I have even made this with venison and we loved it!)
• 2 lbs Hungarian partridge, cut into 1 in pieces
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup corn starch
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 eggs, beaten in a bowl, for coating meat
• Oil for frying (I used avocado)
For the sauce
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 5 cloves of fresh garlic - minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger - finely minced
• zest from 1 small/med orange
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
• 1 cup of broth (I used a homemade game broth, but chicken works well)
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 3 green onions sliced
1. Mix flour, corn starch, salt & pepper and place in a deep mixing bowl.
2. Dip the meat into the egg wash, then coat in the flour/cornstarch mixture. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a deep pot to approximately 350 degrees (medium heat)
4. Add meat to the oil, a few pieces at a time, so as not to crowd the pot.
5. Fry the partridge until gold brown, and crisp. Remove to a wire rack, or paper towels, to drain.
6. Repeat the process, until all meat has been cooked.
7. In a large skillet, heat the additional oil over medium heat.
8. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger and orange zest and cook for 1 minute.
9. In a mixing bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and corn starch, and whisk to combine.
10. Pour the mixture into the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes or so, allowing the sauce time to thicken.
11. Add the partridge to the skillet, toss carefully, coating each piece with the sauce.
12. Remove from the skillet to a serving bowl, or individual plates.
13. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.
This dish is often served over steamed rice, with broccoli, which can be added to the sauce with the meat, or steamed and served on the side.