Sweet and Sour Chicken

This recipe has been featured on About.com Chinese Cuisine and rated five stars.

The recipe is for sweet and sour chicken but it works out just as well when you substitute pork tenderloin or lean beef for the chicken. All of the other directions remain the same.

In this recipe you are making your own sweet and sour sauce. If tine is short, you can use your own prepared sweet and sour sauce or commercial sauces that are available in the oriental section of your supermarket.

Chicken bits may be made ahead of time and stored for several days in the refrigerator or several months frozen in a covered air-tight container.

Preparation: 45 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 persons
Ingredients For Chicken Bits:
  • 2 pounds skinned, deboned chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Season flour with fresh ground black pepper, ground ginger and garlic powder - a little, not a lot.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil
Procedure For Chicken Bits Watch our home video, Making Sweet and Sour Chicken, as featured on Yahoo! Video.
  1. When cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, remove any fat, gristle or connective tissue. If the chicken is soft-frozen or almost thawed it is easier to cut.
  2. In small frying pan, add 1/2-inch vegetable oil. Heat to deep-frying temperature.
  3. In a bowl mix eggs and milk. Beat until well combined.
  4. Place flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl and mix.
  5. Dunk pieces of chicken in the egg and milk mixture. Allow excess to drain.
  6. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour coating thoroughly. Here is your chance to practice with your chop sticks and keep the flour off from your fingers.

    Click to enlarge - Dredging chicken morsels in corn starch before egg wash and seasoned cornstarch. Click to enlarge - Fry morsels in hot oil until golden brown.

  7. Drop pieces into the hot oil and fry until deep golden brown. Turn as necessary to cook evenly on all sides. When golden brown, remove to paper towel covered plate to drain.
  8. Repeat until all chicken pieces are cooked. Set aside until assembly.
Vegetable Ingredients:
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch square bits
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch square bits
  • 1 large yellow onion, skinned, root end removed, cut into 1/2-inch bits
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and trimed, slice thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice (no added sweeteners) - reserve juice (approximately 1/2-cup) for sauce.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients:
  • Reserved juice freom can of pineapple plus added water to make 1 1/2-cups total liquid.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 - 6 drops red food coloring
  • 2 rounded tablespoons corn starch mixed in enough cold water to make a slurry
Procedure for Making Sauce
  1. Place pineapple and water in sauce pan. Heat over low flame. Slowly add sugar while stirring.
  2. When sugar has dissolved, slowly add the vinegar and the lemon juice while stirring.
  3. Add corn starch slurry and stir while heating. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir constantly until thickened. Add food coloring (a couple drops at first and then adjust until you have the red color you like) and stir well to mix. Continue to heat and stir until almost a syrup.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.

You will be judging the thickness of the sauce while it is hot. It will thicken considerably when it is set aside and cools. Later, when added to the vegetables, the moisture from the vegetables will thin the sauce quite a bit.

Assembly of the Completed Dish
  1. Add a little vegetable oil to a large frying pan or wok. Bring to frying temperature over mediuim heat. Add vegetables (but not the pineapple) and cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to carmelize.
  2. Add sweet and sour sauce and continue cooking and stirring until vegetable are bite tender and sauce has rethickened and clings to the vegetables.

    Click to enlarge - Stir fry vegetables until just tender to the bite. Click to enlarge - Add pineapple, chicken morsels, sweet and sour sauce and fold to coat pieces.

  3. Add pineapple and chicken bits and fold into the vegetables and sauce. Simmer until heated through. Serve.

Most home-made sweet and sour sauces are made with brown sugar and the sauce has the distinctive coffee color of the molasses in the brown sugar. This recipe produces a red sweet and sour sauce that looks just like the Chinese reastaurant take-out food but we think that it tastes a lot better. Try it and see how easy it is to make tasty oriental-style food at home.

This recipe has been featured on About.com Chinese Cuisine and rated five stars.

Return to Cookbook Contents Page
Latest revision done August 2014
Counter courtesy of WebCounter

Hosted by aplus.net