I was in the mood for Chinese food on Labor Day. Not burgers. Not BBQ. Just Chinese food. I think most Southerners would find that sacrilegious, but since I live alone, I can basically do what I want without anyone knowing…well, except for anyone who reads my blog :).
Anyway, I defrosted a package of already cut-up chicken breasts and decided to make Sweet & Sour Chicken. While I was in the mood for this dish, I wasn’t in the mood to cook, especially something that requires frying chicken in oil. I’m not very crazy about fried food. I rarely crave it with the exception of Chinese food and french fries. I guess it’s because I don’t feel like the food is fried in Chinese dishes compared to the salient, fried taste I feel on my tongue when I eat fried chicken or fried mozzarella, for instance. I would guess that the use of cornstarch in lieu of flour lends to that “doesn’t-taste-fried” feeling.
I have made this dish before using the same recipe from My Kitchen Café. In fact, this recipe is one of her most popular recipes on her site. I made the dish with Jasmine rice. The rice did not come out as fluffy as regular, white rice, but it was still good. I should have cut up the chicken pieces a bit more instead of just using them straight out of the package, but their sizes did not affect the yummy flavor of this dish.
I love this dish. I may not like frying the chicken, but I love the fact that I don’t have to drive out for substandard Chinese food because this city is not known for good Chinese restaurants. Note: if you like the sauce, I suggest making a double amount, just in case. I halved this recipe, so I used the regular amount and divided it into two (one on top of the chicken before placing it in the oven; other half on the side).
Tip : I suggest making the sauce first. You could also make the sauce ahead of time, and prepare the chicken around 45 mins to 1 hour before dinnertime. Enjoy!
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil (or any other neutral oil)
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.
Sweet & Sour Sauce:
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes (I do this only once). If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced – about 6-8 minutes.