Sweet and Sour Chicken

 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

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs chicken, cut into 1 in cubes
  • salt
  • 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

Directions:

  1. I usually chop all the chicken and then toss it in a bowl.  Then, I generously salt it to taste.
  2. I pour the beaten eggs of the the chicken and stir to coat it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Remove the chicken and drain on a paper towel lined plate (fry the second half if needed).
  7. 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.
  8. Then add the green pepper, onions, and carrots.  Stir frying until crisp tender (about 2-3 mins).
  9. Mix the chicken stock (less 2 Tbsp), sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce then add to the veggies.
  10. Bring it to a boil, then add the cornstarch/chicken stock mixture.
  11. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until thickens.
  12. Add back in the reserved chicken and the pineapple.  Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  13. Serve over rice, we like brown in our family.

 

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