Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I last cooked this dish a few years ago in KK's NYC apartment.  His studio kitchen was so small (although not really that bad when compared against the NYC standard), and I had such a difficult time flipping the chicken on the less-than-9x13-sized pan.  Things were much easier this time around with a proper baking dish!

I also remembered the chicken being a bit dry, so I decided to double the sauce this time (ingredients below are already doubled).  During the last 12-minute cooking period, I sauteed some water chestnuts, sliced carrots, and green peppers to add a little color and nutritional value to the meal.  During dinner, my Dad suggested adding something to give the meal some added crunch, so I'll try adding cashews next time.  I served the chicken and vegetables with brown rice, and the sauce-to-chicken-to-rice ratio was perfection.  Topping it off with Sriracha sauce, I kept dinner sweet by pairing the meal with a bottle of 2008 Mandelberg Gewurztraminer.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Chicken Ingredients
1 to 1½ lb. chicken breasts, cut into chunks
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup canola oil

Sauce Ingredients
1½ cup sugar
8 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup vinegar (rice or white)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

3. Working in two batches, toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch and then coat with the egg. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and again in two batches, brown the chicken, turning it so that all sides are browned.

4. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, and place the chicken in a single layer in the dish.

5. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour evenly over the chicken. Turn the chicken to ensure each piece is coated.

6. Bake for 50 minutes, turning the chicken four times - every 12-13 minutes.

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