One interesting tidbit I remember about my mother is that she worked as a waitress at a Chinese restaurant in college. She said this recipe isn’t from the restaurant but rather a Chinese cooking class she took in 1975! She shared this recipe with me back when I was a newly wed. I add a few extra veggies, pineapple and I think improved on the method a little. I’m not sure it is identical to traditional westernized Chinese sweet and sour chicken, but that can probably be entirely blamed on my inadequate ability to deep fry things. I get a little creeped out by huge vats of hot oil. I never use quite enough oil, and I never bother making sure it’s exactly the right temperature. Nevertheless, this dish still tastes delicious and every single member of my family likes it which is always a win.
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
- 2-3 lbs chicken, cut into 1 in cubes
- 2 eggs, beaten
- about 1/2 C corn starch
- oil for deep frying
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 large green pepper cut in 1/2 in squares
- 1 carrot, cut in thin rounds
- 1/2 an onion, cut in big chunks
- 1 C pineapple chunks (I just used left over canned chunk pineapple from dinner last night)
- 3/4 C chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy saucem
- 1 Tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 Tbsp of the 3/4 C chicken stock
- I usually chop all the chicken and then toss it in a bowl. Then, I generously salt it to taste.
- I pour the beaten eggs of the the chicken and stir to coat it.
- Then I honestly just eyeball the cornstarch sprinkling it over and stirring to coat the chicken, then adding more until each piece has a little whitish/yellow coat of eggy cornstarch around it.
- Heat your oil (I do this in my wok, but a skillet will suffice). It needs to be deep enough to mostly cover the chicken when tossed in.
- Once oil is hot, toss chicken in (tonight I did it in two batched half at a time). Stir it to keep chicken from sticking together. Then fry turning as needed until the chicken has a crisp coating and is starting to brown (5-6 mins).
- Remove the chicken and drain on a paper towel lined plate (fry the second half if needed).
- Then, I poured off all but 1 Tbsp of oil and added in the garlic frying just for a minute until barely starting to brown.
- Then add the green pepper, onions, and carrots. Stir frying until crisp tender (about 2-3 mins).
- Mix the chicken stock (less 2 Tbsp), sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce then add to the veggies.
- Bring it to a boil, then add the cornstarch/chicken stock mixture.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until thickens.
- Add back in the reserved chicken and the pineapple. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Serve over rice, we like brown in our family.