Satisfy the craving but skip the take out. This homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken will hit the spot. I added some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick to the classic take out favorite.
These days we rarely eat out. Not because I am a food blogger and love to cook but it is because of three words: Artificial, Synthetic, Preservatives. We just don’t know what restaurants are using. So we play it safe and eat at home. When a craving strikes or the words, “I haven’t had ___” is said, we turn to our kitchen and work with our ingredients that are free from those nasty ingredients. We try to recreate our favorite restaurant menu items and most of the time we are successful.
Sweet and Sour Chicken was our favorite take out meal from the corner Chinese restaurant. We had a craving for it and I went to work researching different recipes. It looked like a fry then bake method was pretty common among some tried and tested recipes. I found a couple of recipes that used red food dye and those where X’ed immediately. Just real food with real ingredients was going into my sweet and sour chicken.
The kids love this recipe and request it weekly. It is right up there with Taco and Spaghetti night. It is also great leftover. The family asks me to make more just so we have leftovers. The kids love it so much that I will pack the leftovers in there lunch boxes the next day. Whenever we have company we make sure this is on the dinner menu during the time they are staying with us.
This Sweet and Sour Chicken came out fabulous. Better than greasy processed take out. Chunks of chicken breasts in a sweet and sour sauce with a light fried texture. I added red pepper flakes for a little heat and it was AWESOME. One thing that helps the chicken remain crispy is when you pull the chicken from the oil instead of laying them on a paper towel lay them on a cooling rack with a paper towel underneath. If the chicken sits on the paper towel it will lose the crispiness and get soggy. This is a good rule of thumb for all fried foods.
Sweet & Sour Chicken
- 1 to 2 lbs chicken breast cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes optional. omit if you don't want it to have a spicy kick
In a large ziplock bag add the cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, salt and chicken and toss until chicken pieces are coated with mixture.
Heat oil to 375F.
Place beaten eggs into a shallow rimmed bowl.
Dip coated chicken in the egg and transfer into oil.
Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side. Remove chicken and place on a cooling rack to drain excess oil.
Line a 9x13 baking sheet with chicken pieces.
Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together in a small mixing bowl.
Pour sauce over the chicken.
Place in a 325F oven and bake for 55 minutes turning every 20 minutes or twice during the baking process.
Serve over rice.
Your oil may tend to get too hot. If it starts to smoke.stop and turn down the heat until it gets back to 375F.
Never place fried foods on a paper towel. The paper towel gets oil soaked and your food gets soggy sitting on it. Use a cooling rack for optimal crispiness.
When flipping the chicken pieces during the baking process BEWARE: those red pepper flakes and apple cider vinegar may come up and punch you in the face.
Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onions.
Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe