Like many food bloggers, before I started my own I followed and cooked from many food blogs. But of course none of them were documented other than a printed copy of the recipe with my changes or thoughts written around the margins. While digging through said stack of printed recipes (before I discovered the glory of saving recipes as PDFs), I rediscovered this recipe for sweet and sour chicken.
Growing up, sweet and sour chicken was my absolute favorite Chinese option. Probably because it had pineapple and no icky vegetables – oh how much my tastes have changed! Later down the road, when I found this recipe it had been quite a while since I had had a plate of my childhood favorite. Both then and the most recent time I’ve cooked it I really enjoy that it does not require a vat of hot oil to fry the chicken. You do first fry it in a little canola oil but then let the oven to the rest. The sauce caramelizes a bit over the chicken giving you a tender center and a slightly crispy exterior – just the way it should be.
Need further validation? Qing asked me where I got it from when I brought the leftovers in for lunch. She couldn’t believe I made it and after letting her try it she said it tasted authentic too!
Also some fun news. Yesterday my dissertation finally cleared all it’s checks and was approved for publishing. Additionally I’ve completed all my Ph.D. requirements (aka paperwork) and have been approved for graduation! Not that I didn’t think it would happen but what a relief that it’s all done. Now all I have to do is clean up a couple new experiments to appease the reviewers of my research paper submission to be published (oh and find that thing called a J-O-B). Don’t worry I’ll let you know when I’m pubmed-able ;-).
One year ago: Scooter’s Spaghetti
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup rice vinegar (may use white)
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Working in two batches, toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch and then coat with the egg.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and again in two batches, brown the chicken, turning it so that all sides are browned.
- Place the chicken in a single layer in a prepared baking dish. Pour sauce evenly over the chicken. Turn the chicken to ensure each piece is coated.
- Bake for 1 hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.
Source: Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker.