I absolutely adore sweet and sour chicken. In fact, I love most foods that combine two juxtaposing flavors which complement each other in such a melodious way that that the end result is scrumptious. For example, coffee rubs for beef or pork, salted caramel, and the whole chocolate bacon phenomenon. Sweet and sour chicken is one of my favorite juxtaposing flavor combinations. I had never attempted to make this dish before and was a little pensive about the recipes I found. I finally settles on this recipe from Damn Delicious. There are many different versions of the same dish all around the web. The process for preparing the chicken is very similar in each. The main difference was with the ingredients for the sauce. Some recipes use soy sauce and other shave pineapples for the base. I opted for a nice and simple combination that turned out tasting very similar to restaurant quality, if I can say so myself. This recipe didn’t explain how to prepare the rice, so I took it upon myself to make my own rice dish for the chicken. The overall result was wonderfully delectable. Don’t believe me? I guess you’ll just have to try it out yourself and see.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick spray or oil. Wash and dry your chicken. Then, cut it into strips. Cut the strips to create small, bite-sized pieces of chicken.
Put the chicken into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix to coat evenly.
Put your cornstarch into a shallow dish or bowl and your egg into another. I was running low on cornstarch so I mixed in some flower to compensate. The original recipe wanted us to mix the cornstarch with the chicken along with the salt and pepper. But I knew from past experience that the moisture from the chicken would just make the cornstarch into a gooey paste. It’s much easier, and cleaner, to coat each piece of chicken individually.
Using a fork or your hands, coat the chicken in the cornstarch and then dunk it into the egg. Heat oil on a large skillet over medium high heat. It’s important that the oil gets very hot, but not burnt.Lay the chicken onto the skillet in a single layer. I found it easier to cook the chicken in small batches. Let the chicken cook on each side for 30 seconds to a minuet. Then take it off the skillet and into the prepared baking dish
For the sweet and sour sauce, combine the sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and mix so that the chicken is evenly coated. Bake the chicken in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, giving it a stir every ten minutes.
While the chicken is baking, we can prepare the rice. Dice an onion and begin sautéing it in the same skillet that you cooked the chicken.
Once the onion has become translucent, add the rice and quinoa to the skillet. Cook the rice until it starts to turn translucent, about five minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth and cover the skillet. Let the rice cook on a low heat until it is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. This should take abbot 20 minutes.
To add some color and texture variation, I chopped up some bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Once the rice has finished cooking and cooled down, add the vegetables and stir to combine.
Time to plate. Take the chicken out of the oven and test to make sure it is nice and tender. Serve the sweet and sour chicken with the rice and top with sesame seeds. The most important thing though is to devour the restaurant quality meal and enjoy your sweet and sour chicken. After this, you will probably never order.
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the sauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the rice
- olive oil for the skillet
- 1 onion
- 1 cup of rice
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 bell pepper
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the cornstarch and then the eggs.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds to a minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil. Then transfer the chicken to the baking sheet
- To make the sauce, whisk together sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder in a large bowl.
- Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Top with sweet and sour sauce. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes, turning over every 10 minutes to evenly coat the chicken.
- Dice onion and sautéing on medium heat in the same skillet used earlier until the onion is translucent.
- Add the rice and quinoa, stirring occasionally until the rice turns translucent as well.
- Pour in the wine and stir until he liquid is absorbed. Then add the chicken stock and close the lid of the skillet. Let the rice cook until it becomes tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let cool slightly.
- Chop the bell pepper and cherry tomatoes. Add them to the rice and top with sweet and sour chicken.