Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken has always been a backup menu item for me the rare times we get chinese.  I used to LOVE be fine with the heavily fried food and gloopy sauces that come out of chinese take out, but as I get older I imagine it going straight to my hips and thighs (and if something is going to go there, I'd rather it be in the form of chocolate).  I've also wondered what is in that sauce.  Well, for this week's meal a la Jaimee I made sweet and sour chicken a little healthier AND I figured out what was in the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 pound of boneless and skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1 Egg White
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 10-ounce can Pineapple Chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup Juice from the canned pineapple
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2-3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh Ginger

Combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir to coat the chicken evenly.  Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar to make the sauce.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates.  Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat.  It's important that the pan is very hot.  Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer.  Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned.  Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute.  The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle.  Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil.  Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger.  Fry for 1 minute.  Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce.  Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Eric ever so politely told me it was really good, but rice would have been a nice addition.  Cut me some slack here, I can't think of everything!

Leftovers approved!

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