Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Recently, Gary has had some free time on his hands (read: he’s no longer employed), so he decided to use some of his time productively. He decided he wanted to experiment in the kitchen. He started out with Martin Yan’s quick and easy cookbook (recipe post to come soon), and he started looking through The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook written by Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen. He’s made a few recipes from the cookbook already, and they’ve been great so far. I think it’s very well written, and the instructions are clear for someone who is beginning in the kitchen. Her recipes also remind me of things I ate growing up at home. I think I need to start asking my mom how she made all those thing I used to love eating as well…

One of the first recipes Gary tried out was this sweet and sour chicken recipe. Sweet and sour chicken is one of our favorite things to order at the local fast food places, but the deep fried greasiness isn’t so great all the time. As Jaden said, this recipe is a great lightened up version of the fast food favorite.

I was pretty bummed when Gary told me he was making this because I ended up working late that night. So instead of eating it right after it was made, I ended up eating it for lunch the next day. I asked him to take a picture for me, so this is what he got.


Other than the fact that Gary used half a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple instead of cutting up the can of rings that were in the pantry, he pretty much stayed true to the original recipe.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
adapted from: Steamy Kitchen via Simply Recipes

printable recipe

1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

    In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

    In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.

    Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

    Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking.

    Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.

    Serves 4.

    1 comment :

    1. I've made this recipe and it's really simple. I love Jaden Hair's cookbook! Your husband took a good picture...not bad for an amateur!


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