Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Make Your Own Take Out: Sweet & Sour Chicken

Tonight's dinner was a spin on make your own take out of sweet & sour chicken.  It tasted pretty darn good so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  If you're looking for a good sweet & sour chicken recipe, like really good (you know the kind where you know what parts of the chicken were used) look no further.

This recipe has it.  This tasted better than some nice Chinese restaurants I've been too, most buffets I've frequented (some pregnant and some not), and certainly better than anything you are going to find in the frozen food isle at the grocery store.

I do want to warn you, don't confuse good food with fast food!  Making your own take out takes more effort than calling for delivery.  This recipe took me about an hour to get on the table, but it was worth it.

I used Mel's recipe for sweet and sour chicken as a guide, check her version out if you want to use the original.  Here's my take:

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Takes about 1 hour to make
Serves 4-6 people

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

1.5 cups granulated sugar
8 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder

1.5 lbs of veggies (I used about 1 lb of broccoli and 1/2 lb of snow peas)
1/2 of a cored pineapple, sliced into bite sized pieces

4 cups water
2 cups Jasmine Rice


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Place the cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Put the cut up chicken into the bag with the cornstarch, seal it good and tight and shake the heck out of it. Beat the eggs with a little water on a shallow plate or bowl. Dip the chicken into the egg wash and place it in the pan of hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes on each side (till golden brown). Place in a single layer in a baking dish.  Don't over crowd your pan, you'll need to cook the chicken in batches.  Once all chicken is fried, place the sheet in the oven.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour half the sauce on the chicken that is cooking in the oven.  Pour the other half of the sauce in a saucepan and simmer on low to thicken.  Let the chicken cook for about 30-45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.  Toss occasionally so the sauce coats all the chicken.

Cook the rice according to the package directions.  Jasmine rice usually takes 15-20 minutes to cook.

Sauté the mix-ins on medium heat with a little olive oil.  Once the rice is done, toss the now cooked chicken into the veggie mix.

Your done!  Assemble, plate, and enjoy!

Top your rice with the chicken & veggie mix and pour (to your liking) more sweet and sour sauce on top of your finished dish.

If you have a picky eater in the house like I do, plate their's before mixing the chicken into the veggies (this seemed to appease my little one).

This dish was really quite good.  Next time I might serve it up with some yummy crab Rangoon...you know, to keep the theme going.

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