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I love Chinese food, but I hate feeling bloated and dehydrated. I’ve discovered that cooking my own version of take out can usually save me some MSG. I want to say that this recipe is better than takeout, but I’m scared of the repercussions.
This recipe for sweet and sour chicken seems gross. There’s a lot of egg and sugar and – ketchup? That one caught me off guard. But this is the third time I’ve made it, and it has yet to disappoint. The first time I made this a few months ago, I was skeptical. This yellow mess actually turns into the golden delight in the pictures? Doubtful.
But it really does. It’s like magic.
There are a lot of steps, but it’s really easy to follow along. Yes, it gets kind of messy, and yes, it takes an hour to bake, but just wait for it. Trust me.
I got this recipe from Life as a Lofthouse food blog. I used it to serve three people. I converted the recipe to about 1/3 less than the original, but I didn’t worry about the measurements being totally proportional to the original recipe.
- 1.25 lbs of chicken breast
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Canola oil
- Salt and pepper
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- Cooked rice, to serve with the chicken
- For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbs. ketchup
- 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cut chicken breast into about 3/4 inch cubes.
- Put chicken in a Ziploc bag or a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Then coat with cornstarch. Mix (or shake) the chicken until all of it is completely covered on all sides.
- Heat oil in a large pan on the stove. Have eggs already beaten in a shallow bowl. Place chicken and eggs next to the stove to minimize dripping.
- Dip small handfuls of chicken into the eggs, let drain, and toss into the pan. The oil should sizzle slightly when the chicken is added.
- Continue adding the chicken to the pan in small handfuls. Be warned: this part is messy! Stop every so often and flip the chicken cooking in the pan.
- Cook the chicken until browned but not all the way cooked through, then transfer to the baking dish.
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the chicken, and mix to make sure all of the chicken is covered.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for increments of 15 minutes, flipping the chicken after each time period. Bake for a total of an hour, flipping four times. You will watch the chicken slowly turning into a sticky, savory, glorious dish at each flip.
Thoughts I had while cooking:
-Cornstarch feels so squeaky on your hands. I don’t know why.
-The egg was very eggy. It dripped a lot. Good think I wasn’t cooking in my own kitchen!
-When the chicken first goes into the pan, it looks like it will all stick together as a giant, oily lump. Don’t worry, the chicken falls into its rightful pieces as you stir it around in the pan and it cooks more.
-I burned my knuckles pretty badly trying to flip the chicken inside the oven while it baked. Learn from my mistakes and take the dish out before trying to mix it all up.
-This is so good and easy to serve for a crowd. It’s a bummer that it takes an hour to bake, but, man, it is so worth it.
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