Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is something I made up on my own and have gotten the flavours right where I like it... I love sweet and sour chicken and I live out in the boonies, so it's not so easy to go to town and buy chinese food. It's more convenient for me to go to the small super market near my house and buy some of the ingredients than jump in my car and drive 15 miles to the nearest chinese restaurant... Haha. Most of the stuff in this are things that I usually have on hand, but the fresh produce is something I have to buy when I want to make it. This recipe is not as sweet as some in the restaurants and it has no food colouring in it because I don't want to polute my body with chemicals, but if you want it red, then by all means add food colouring. This is also a lower in calorie version of this favourite, but still has tons of flavour!

Serves 6



1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into big chunks
1/2 green bell Pepper, chopped into big chunks
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped into big chunks
1 tsp. minced ginger root
1 15 oz. can chunked pineapple, drained
2 tbsp. sweet chile sauce, optional
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 cups pineapple juice
3 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
kosher salt to taste
non-stick cooking spray

In a large sauce pan, liberally spray with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat.

When pan is hot, add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, and ginger root and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add pineapple chunks, sweet chile sauce, rice vinegar, pineapple juice, and soy sauce.

In a small bowl or cup, add cornstarch and 1/2 cup water and stir until completely mixed together.

Season sauce to taste and bring sauce to a low boil over medium heat... When a boil emerges, pour in the water and cornstarch mixture.

Stir with wooden spoon until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and serve with chicken (see recipe below) and jasmine rice.

At this point you have to decide if you want to deep fry your chicken, or pan fry it in a little oil in a pan... This recipe for chicken can be made either way.

Fried Chicken:

4 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp. sweet chile sauce
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Corn oil for frying

In a zip lock bag combine the chicken chunks, half the buttermilk (1 cup), and sweet chile sauce and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour.

In pie tins or any kind of shallow dish, mix flour, breadcrumbs, and salt in one dish and 1 cup buttermilk and 2 eggs in another dish and a large plate for placing chicken on after breading.

Take the chicken chunks and place them in the flour mixture and roll around for an even coating, then place chicken chunks into buttermilk mixture and back into the flour mixture for a double coating. Repeat until all chicken is coated.

Prepare your deep fryer with the corn oil at 350 degrees. When the fryer is ready, place only a few pieces of chicken at a time (about 4-6 pieces). Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, repeat all the chicken in batches.

If you want to pan fry them, you can prepare a large skillet with about 1/2 an inch of corn oil or olive oil in the bottom of the pan over medium-low heat. When pan is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken in batches of 6 - 8 pieces of chicken at a time for 3 - 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Serve chicken with jasmine rice and sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy!

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