Sweet and Sour Chicken Skillet by Larry Andersen

Sweet And Sour

Chicken Skillet

That old, large, heavy, cast iron skillet in the back of the cupboard is the perfect pan for this dish. It not only cooks the chicken, it also works admirably as the serving dish. (Okay - sear the chicken in your non-stick pan and then transfer to your Pyrex baking dish, I’ve done that too.) A Dutch oven is close second choice. Long ago, when I first made up this dish, looking for an Asian sweet and sour flavor, I used one of my heirloom cast iron pans and it seemed so perfect - stovetop, oven and serve all in the same pan. Chicken thighs were cheap, back then, and were the choice for budget concerns. All I had to do was pull of the skin. Boneless and skinless thighs work fine though the kids like the bone in because it makes it a finger food even if you had to eat the accompanying rice with a fork. It was a favorite of the kids as well as welcomed at potlucks.

Preparation: 1 hour 30 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 persons
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 green Bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 16-ounce can chunk pineapple in heavy syrup, reserved
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 red Bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 15-ounce can apricot halves, drained (optional, I just like apricots)
  1. Heat skillet on medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil and sear chicken pieces on all sides. Reduce heat to medium. Add vinegar, brown sugar and pineapple packing syrup. Add just enough water so chicken pieces are half covered. Stir to mix and simmer, turning pieces frequently to coat with sauce, for 10 minutes. Cover pan with foil. Place in a preheated 325F oven and cook for 30 minutes, turning pieces once.
  2. While chicken is in the oven, prepare vegetables. I like to cut the peppers and onion in rings. I like the look of the concentric circles in the completed dish. Others like the veggies cut in little bite-sized morsels. The choice is yours.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove skillet form oven. The sauce will have thickened. Turn pieces to coat well. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water and add to sauce and mix well. Add pineapple chunks, drained apricot halves if desired, and top with onions and Bell pepper pieces. Recover with foil and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until peppers and onions are tender. Serve on a bed of rice to catch all that luscious sweet and sour sauce

I play with my recipes, from time to time, just to see if I can make them better. Once I added a package of dehydrated onion soup mix. It was really quite good. Once I used granulated sugar instead of brown sugar and added a 1/3 cup of ketchup. A friend called it Hawaiian Chicken - tasted about the same but red sauce apparently made it Hawaiian.

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Latest revision done September 2014
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