Last weekend I made this dish for dinner and wanted to tell you about it. This sweet and sour chicken was so good!
Earlier on, I needed some meal inspiration. I wanted to make something a little different, but still fairly healthy, and since Aldi had pineapples for $1 and I had a ripening one on my counter I wanted to use, I searched my Pinterest board of food to try and this one jumped out at me. It was so pretty! It uses pineapple! It's baked!
It was delicious. Both Drew and I really enjoyed it, and Drew doesn't like a lot of Asian inspired food. The vegetables made it feel healthy (please tell me it is), the spice was just right, and the balance of the salty, sweet, and sour flavors was spot on. I'm very glad it was delicious, because it took three hours to make it. Three hours! I am sure that when I make it again I could streamline it, but there is a lot of prep work involved in this dish, and that's why I suggest it for the weekend. It's a lot more ingredients and a lot more work than a lot of things I make, but it really is very good, and it's sometimes nice to do bigger meals when you have more time.
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
slightly changed from Carlsbad Cravings blog
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 ½ pounds), cut in bite-size pieces
1/2 cup flour
1 1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice (from 20 oz. pineapple tidbits can below)
1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ketchup (6 tablespoons)
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits (or 3/4 of a medium ripe pineapple, cut into chunks)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced as THIN as possible (2-3 carrots)
Add "Sweet and Sour Sauce" ingredients to a medium/large saucepan, stir and bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer while you prepare the chicken and dice the vegetables, stirring occasionally (turn off if longer than 20 minutes). Note, the sauce will not thicken, simmering is to soften the onions and blend flavors.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or line with foil and then grease).
Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, set aside. Add ½ cup flour to a large freezer bag; set aside next to eggs. Whisk cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger powder and onion powder in medium bowl; set aside next to flour.
Add chicken to eggs and coat, then remove, allowing excess to drip off, then add to freezer bag with flour. Toss until evenly coated then discard any extra flour. Add cornstarch/spices to the chicken in the freezer bag and shake until evenly coated.
Over high heat, heat enough oil (any kind) to generously cover the bottom of a large skillet until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until browned but not cooked through. (You may need to cook in 2 batches depending on size of your skillet). Transfer chicken to prepared 9x13 baking dish.
Add carrots pineapple and peppers to the sweet and sauce and mix until well combined. Pour sauce over chicken and stir until sauce/chicken/vegetables are evenly combined. Cook, uncovered for 50 minutes or until sauce, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice. Enjoy!
- The original recipe called for 1.5 cups sugar. I just couldn't bring myself to use that much, so I took a chance and halved the amount. It still turned out great. I may even reduce it more next time.
- I had to cook my chicken in batches, and I was not crazy about the crust formed. It was reminiscent of commercially available sweet and sour chicken, but was still soft. I might try leaving it off entirely the next time I make it. If you like breading, leave it.
- I didn't have enough ginger powder, but I had fresh ginger in my freezer. I used that in the sauce, because in my opinion, that's where the flavor really matters.
- I also didn't have any large colored bell peppers, but I had a lot of mini colored peppers, so I used several of them- maybe 5-6.
- I may even increase the vegetable ratio next time.