Monday, June 15, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

After years of making Sweet and Sour Pork, it finally occurred to me that I could probably make a healthier version using chicken. I tried just substituting chicken for pork in my recipe, and cooking the chicken just until browned, then adding the rest of the ingredients and simmering until the chicken was done and the sauce thickened. However, I found the results a little bland, probably because I didn't want to use any salt. So I took a look around on my magic interweb machine here.

Many recipes I looked at directed you to deep fry the chicken pieces, but we know that won't do. This recipe should do nicely. I found it at--where else--Sweet Sour Chicken.Com, where you can see some other versions, as well. Of course, I would take their advice and reduce the sugar (and probably the oil, as well).

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

1lb (450g) of white chicken meat (eg. chicken breast), cut into cubes or strips.
2 onions, sliced into squares
2 green peppers, sliced into squares
1 can of pineapple chunks (or pineapple rings cut into squares)

4 tablespoons of cornstarch
6 tablespoons of sugar
8 tablespoons of vinegar
8 tablespoons of tomato puree (or 12 tablespoons of ketchup)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup of water

4 tablespoons of light vegetable oil (such as canola oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions

1. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add salt to the oil once the oil has heated up.
2. Fry the chicken cubes until they are white (but don't over do it; they shouldn't be cooked through)
3. Add the onions and green peppers, and stir-fry for about 3 minutes (or until the green peppers are almost tender).
4. Add the pineapple chunks and cook for about 1 minute (or until the pineapples look cooked)
5. Quickly mix the water, sugar, vinegar, tomate puree and soy sauce together. Then add in the cornstarch and mix thoroughly until you have a paste/slurry.
6. Add this paste/slurry mixture into the pan and stir fry until the sauce thickens.
7. Remove from heat and serve.

If you prefer a less sweet version, simply add less sugar. Likewise, use less vinegar if you prefer a less sour version. Remember that tomato ketchup is quite sweet, so if you use more ketchup, your dish will become sweeter.

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