Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I am a huge fan of Chinese food and love Chinese take-out but inevitably, I usually regret it. Honestly, it makes me feel like crap. However, like so many things that make me feel gross (ahem, cocktails, occasional fast food runs, did I say cocktails?) I refuse to give them up. Life is too short to abstain from everything guilty. Luckily for me (and you,) there is a delicious little blog out there called Steamy Kitchen. Okay, so it's far from little, it's huge and if you haven't checked it out, you really should. Jaden of Steamy Kitchen cooks up fantastic Asian dishes that are all super simple and really delicious. And, she's also hilarious. Win-Win. I've tried many of her recipes and they have all been fabulous. A couple of months ago Jaden asked for help from her readers to test some of her recipes for her upcoming cookbook. I gladly tried a bunch of the recipes and was truly impressed with all of them. Jaden just announced that her book, Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, will be released in Fall 2009. Check out the link for a quick promo video on the book. I know I'll be buying it and you should too! Given my previous success with her recipes, when I came across Jaden's take on Sweet and Sour Chicken, I knew I had to try it.

Sweet and Sour Chicken is a must have when I order take-out. I love, love, love it. It also happens to be one of the major culprits of the late evening regret, both for my waistline and the way it makes me feel. This recipe is a lighter take on sweet and sour chicken but it doesn't make you feel like you're missing out. I gave my Fiance a huge serving and halfway through eating he said, "I'm so full, I can barely take another bite." I asked if I should take his plate away and he said "gawd no!" and proceeded to eat the whole thing. It says a lot about a recipe when you're willing to make yourself sick because you can't stop eating it. In a good feeling sick kind of way, of course.

RECIPE from Steamy Kitchen via Simply Recipes:
1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks, reserve juice
1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator. In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar. Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking. Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.

Serves 4.


Hallie Fae said...

Yum, I have to try this recipe, it looks so good!

~Madeline~ said...

Thanks Hallie Fae! It is so good and so simple. Let me know if you try it :)

We Are Not Martha said...

I love making Chinese food a little bit healthier! Sometimes there's nothing like take-out but I'm right with you on the after feelings. Blerg.


~Madeline~ said...

I know Sues, I always regret it!

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