Sweet & Sour Chicken

 

I’m not going to lie to you all– of the five, this is definitely the most time-intensive of the summer chicken dishes I’m sharing. But it’s also really delicious.

 

It was important to me that I provide you all with an array of flavors and food styles when I was putting this menu plan together. Sure, I could come up with five different chicken pizzas or soups or salads… but who wants to eat the same thing every day? The beauty of this style of cooking is that you can truly make distinctive meals so you don’t get bored.

 

You may note that there are no chunks of pineapple in this recipe– this is because, in my family of five, four of us really do not care for the stuff. Feel free to add some in, however. The recipe calls for pineapple juice– you can get enough of it by using the juice drained from a can of pineapple chunks. Just add the pineapple chunks in when you’re warming your peppers and you’ll be all set.

 

 

Sweet & Sour Chicken

 

Ingredients:

(for battered chicken)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon olive (or vegetable) oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup water
  • cubed chicken from 1 1/2 – 2 chicken breasts (this should already be bagged and waiting for you)
  • oil, for frying

 

(for sauce)

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar (<– this equals 3/8 cup)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces

 

  • 2 cups rice

 

Directions:

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in skillet or wok over med-high heat. How much oil you’ll need will depend on the size of your skillet, but you’ll want it at least 1/4″ deep.

3. To make batter, combine flour, salt, baking powder, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, salt, and egg. Add 3/4 cup water gradually to make a thick batter. Stir to blend thoroughly. Add chicken pieces, and stir until chicken is well coated. (You can add flour or water as needed if you find the batter too thick or thin to work with.)

4. Fry chicken pieces, working in batches, in hot oil for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove chicken, and drain on paper towels.

5. In a saucepan, combine pineapple juice, 3/4 cup water, sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste (ketchup.) Heat to boiling. Turn off heat.

6. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; slowly stir into saucepan. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.

7. Toss chopped red pepper into the oil after frying chicken. Just stir it around for a minute or two to soften and warm through. You can also warm your pineapple chunks at this time, if you’re choosing to use them.

8. When ready to serve, layer red peppers, pineapple chunks (if using), and cooked chicken pieces over rice. Pour hot sweet and sour sauce over top.

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