Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sweet & Sour Chicken

I was in the mood for Chinese food on Labor Day. Not burgers. Not BBQ. Just Chinese food. I think most Southerners would find that sacrilegious, but since I live alone, I can basically do what I want without anyone knowing...well, except for anyone who reads my blog :).

Anyway, I defrosted a package of already cut-up chicken breasts and decided to make Sweet & Sour Chicken. While I was in the mood for this dish, I wasn't in the mood to cook, especially something that requires frying chicken in oil. I'm not very crazy about fried food. I rarely crave it with the exception of Chinese food and french fries. I guess it's because I don't feel like the food is fried in Chinese dishes compared to the salient, fried taste I feel on my tongue when I eat fried chicken or fried mozzarella, for instance. I would guess that the use of cornstarch in lieu of flour lends to that "doesn't-taste-fried" feeling.

I have made this dish before using the same recipe from My Kitchen Café. In fact, this recipe is one of her most popular recipes on her site. I made the dish with Jasmine rice. The rice did not come out as fluffy as regular, white rice, but it was still good. I should have cut up the chicken pieces a bit more instead of just using them straight out of the package, but their sizes did not affect the yummy flavor of this dish.

Above and below: One of two beautiful pairs of chopsticks my girlfriend brought from Korea when she was in the military. I still haven't used the other pair (not pictured); I hope to preserve it in its unused state forever.
Yes, the wrapper is still on the top end of the sticks. I've used these sticks for years without taking it off. :)

I love this dish. I may not like frying the chicken, but I love the fact that I don't have to drive out for substandard Chinese food because this city is not known for good Chinese restaurants. Note: if you like the sauce, I suggest making a double amount, just in case. I halved this recipe, so I used the regular amount and divided it into two (one on top of the chicken before placing it in the oven; other half on the side).


Tip : I suggest making the sauce first. You could also make the sauce ahead of time, and prepare the chicken around 45 mins to 1 hour before dinnertime. Enjoy!

Chicken:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil (or any other neutral oil)

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

Sweet & Sour Sauce:

¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes (I do this only once). If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced - about 6-8 minutes.

8 comments:

  1. My, my, my! I know this sweet & sour chicken taste as good as it looks; I just know it! Wow, it is so colorful and tasty . . . You are indeed a international chef!

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  2. Oh, boy this is gonna be a hit at my house. One twin in particular LOVES sweet & sour chicken!
    ~ingrid

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  3. Wow! Your pictures are amazing. And talk about super cool and beautiful chopsticks. I wouldn't take the wrapper off either!

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  4. This looks better than most restaurants' dishes of sweet & sour chicken. I would've never thought to bake in the oven either, good idea. I'm salivating now, great job and beautiful pics!

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  5. If you would have quit your whining and bitching about how much you hate to cook, and just told the damn recipe, I wouldn't have lost interest, jackass!!

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  6. Just made this for lunch. I used less sugar in the sauce and regular minced garlic instead of garlic salt, plus substituted deboned chicken legs/thighs for the breasts. It was very yummy!! Mine was a bit crunchy because I left it in the oven too long...

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  7. That looks so tempting. I love love Indian Chinese cuisine which is very popular here in India. I blogged a lot of Indian Chinese Recipes. Hopping over to My Kitchen Cafe for the recipe.

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  8. This was very yummy! Thanks for the recipe! Its definitely going into the rotation here.

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