Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken with crispy chicken, pineapple and bell peppers just like your favorite takeout place without the food coloring.

This recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken doesn’t deep fry, but instead uses a method for creating a delicate, smooth and succulent chicken that goes perfectly with a lighter sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chicken is a classic Chinese takeout option most of us are too afraid to make at home. Something about woks and cooking with pineapple make it intimidating for most, but it is so much easier to make than you would think.

The secret is in the chicken marinade, specifically using egg white and cornstarch, which creates a super-light coating all around the chicken. It won’t be a crunchy, deep fried coating, but I think it’s a nice alternative, both texture-wise and weight-wise!

Just like the Shrimp Fried Rice, a very hot pan is essential to making this Sweet and Sour Chicken so that the chicken can sear quickly. Heat your frying pan until a bead of water will sizzle instantly and evaporate on contact.

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 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

Method

1 Coat chicken with egg white, salt, and cornstarch: 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.

2 Make sweet sour sauce: Whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.

3 Stir-fry chicken: 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.

4 Stir fry bell pepper and ginger: 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.

5 Add pineapple, sweet sour sauce, let simmer, add chicken: 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.

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe