i heart sweet & sour chicken.

>> Sunday, June 5, 2011

i usually don't post cooking related things here anymore because my usual repetoire is nothing to write home about.  but i do spend a good chunk of my life cooking, mostly because the husband prefers me slaving over a hot stove, doesn't like any other person's cooking except for my mother's, and the mini likes anything he likes.  saves us money on take out, i suppose.  today, out of the blue, he asks me, "hey babe, can you cook that kind of sweet orangey chicken that they make at chinese restaurants?  you know, the sauce is orange and there are peppers in it?"  yeah, dude, i know exactly what you're talking about.  i love how white people describe chinese food.  unfortunately, he knows that even though i LOOK the part, i cannot cook chinese food if my life depended on it - and he's also told me so several times.  but, because i'm always up for a challenge, i google for recipes and came up with this one. i was a little daunted because it is a two step recipe - where you batter the chicken and saute it, then combine it with the sauce - but once the mini was napping, i dove right in.  and seriously, i was THRILLED at the outcome.  i am sitting here, arms covered in tiny little red spots from the hot oil (yup, nothing i do is complete without a little self harm - aren't you glad i'm not YOUR wife), eating all of this chicken by myself.  i'm posting the recipe with my modifications so i don't lose it.  and so you can make it too.

8 chicken breasts, diced into 1" or so pieces

1 8oz can pineapple - whatever shape you like - drained and juice reserved
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar

chicken batter:
2 cups self-rising flour (i used regular flour with a little baking powder instead)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper (white pepper probably would have been better but oh well)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic powder

oil for sauteing - the original recipe i found asked for a quart but there is no way i'm using that amount of oil.  i used a heavy bottomed frying pan and just used enough oil to coat the surface.

mix all the batter ingredients together until batter is like pancake batter.  add water to get the right consistency.  then add chicken pieces and stir well to coat.  feel free to let marinate in the batter for 30 mins or so.  heat up the oil until a drop of water explodes when you put it on and saute the chicken in a single layer.  you might have to do it in batches - i did.  try to refrain from eating all the cooked chicken at this point - seriously, it is that good.

then start your sauce.  put the reserved pineapple juice, water, sugar and vinegar in a small pot and heat till boiling, stirring frequently.  then dissolve the cornstarch in a small dish of water and add to the sauce once it is boiling.  stir till thickened and lower the heat.

chop up some celery, peppers and onions.  or whatever vegetables you like in your chinese food.  mix with the pineapple.  pour the vegetables into the hot sauce then when you're ready to serve, pour it all over the chicken.

serve with noodles or rice. 

now i'm forcing myself to go sit outside so i won't eat it all.


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