Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Okay, so I have to start out by saying that I had no parts in coming up with this recipe.  I only succeeded in making it deliciously without many of the items on what I consider to be a sprawling ingredient list, and in a mere portion of the time.  It turned out to be a winner with lean protein, tons of veggies and a sweet but not overly sugary sauce that everyone pretty much loves.*Brushes sugar from shoulder* Now that I'm done bragging about my culinary prowess and chameleon like adaptability in the kitchen, let's move on to the method and ingredient list.

First of all, this recipe is actually for Sweet and Sour Pork (butt) which was changed to chicken. I nixed some of the fresh items like ginger, shortened the marinate time for the chicken and eliminated the deep frying in favor of a saute in a shallow pan of oil. I also omitted the celery because it just seemed wrong to me. Celery? In Sweet and Sour Chicken?

I ended up making substitutions for about half of the ingredients, and it was a smash hit with everyone around the dinner table.  To save money, I pulled two breasts from one whole chicken cut up.  As always I stashed the neck and back in the freezer for stock making, and made the other six pieces into Oven Fried Chicken for another night.  One chicken, two meals, happiness all around!  I will post the recipe with my changes since I think that the ingredients I used are more likely to be found in YOUR fridge/pantry today since you will be making this at your next meal immediately following a thorough reading, commentary and sharing of this post via all of the social networks you are a part of.  You will.  Trust me!

 Sweet and Sour Chicken
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 ground ginger
1/2 cup flour, separated in half
2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tb. oil , plus more for saute (canola, olive, whatever you like)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 ounce honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup large diced onion
1/3 cup carrots sliced 1/4-inch thick, on a bias
1/3 cup large diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup large diced green bell pepper
1/2 can pineapple chunks

1. In a large non-reactive bowl, combine soy, garlic, ginger, and half the flour Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the bowl and toss to cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hr.

2. Drain off any excess marinade and dredge the chicken in the remaining flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan heat enough oil to cover the pan to 350 degrees F. Fry the chicken in batches until golden brown, flipping each piece half way through. Drain on paper towels. Reserve on a warm plate.

3.In a separate bowl, combine the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and honey. Whisk to blend.

4. In a small roasting pan heat the tablespoon of oil. Place the vegetables into the pan, allow them to soften for about 2 minutes then add the chicken pieces and cover with the ketchup mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

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