Going through the grocery flyers this week, I noticed that corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes were all on sale and realized that St. Patrick’s Day was just around the corner. A good food blogger would have been prepared to feature some St Patty’s Day food-related item today. I am apparently not a good food blogger.
Honestly, it just slipped my mind. It’s not my favorite holiday, although I am a big fan of corned beef and cabbage. Unfortunately my past couple attempts at making one have been borderline epic fails.
Okay, less borderline and more epic fail.
Obviously I experienced another epic fail when it came to whipping up a special treat to celebrate this holiday. The good news is that I still have a delicious dish to share, but it is about as non-related to St. Patrick’s Day as you can get. It’s sweet and sour chicken.
Yup, people are gearing up to drink green beer and pinch those foolish enough to not wear green, and I decide to share a Chinese (well, sort of) entree instead. I am a rebel. Or just ill-prepared. Take your pick!
I used to intensely dislike Chinese food, although in absolute fairness I never tasted truly authentic Chinese food growing up. That stuff in a can is NOT real Chinese food, not matter what the label says. Eventually, a Chinese restaurant opened in my small hometown and my world changed after just one bite.
For many years, I always ordered sweet and sour chicken. And when I felt adventurous, I ordered the sweet and sour pork. 🙂 Now days, I actually do try other dishes, but sweet and sour chicken still remains a favorite. It’s possible that I am slightly enamored with the raspberry colored sauce. It’s just pretty.
This version tastes just as good as your favorite restaurant. I loved, loved, LOVED it. The chicken was crispy and juicy, and the sauce was a nice bright raspberry color. However, please note that it did not reheat well. The chicken not only lost it’s crispiness but seemed a bit mushy to me, so I recommend only making enough for one meal. I definitely plan on making this again because waiters look at me funny when I order it at a restaurant. Of course, it goes from side-eye looks to laughter when they see me attempt to eat with chopsticks. 🙂
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or tenderloins), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 red bell pepper cut into big chunks
- 1 large onion cut into big chunks
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 6 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the chicken pieces in a pie plate and season with salt and pepper. Add cornstarch and gently combine to coat chicken with cornstarch.
- Add lightly beaten eggs to a second pie plate or shallow dish. Shake off the excess cornstarch, then transfer the chicken into the egg mixture. Make sure each piece is coated thoroughly.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken.
- Cook on all sides until brown on all sides, but it doesn’t need to be fully cooked. Transfer browned chicken to the prepared dish.
- Whisk the sugar, ketchup, vinegars, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so, stir the chicken. At the first fifteen minute mark, add the red pepper, onion and pineapple to the pan. Continue stirring every 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over rice.