Sweet and Sour Chicken - Wine Dine With Jeff

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 Pounds of chicken breast cut up into Bite size pieces
  • 1 Medium red bell pepper chopped about 1 cup
  • 1 Medium yellow bell pepper chopped about 1 cup
  • 1 Cup of sliced sweet onion I used 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil enough to coat the bottom of the sauté pan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 20oz can of pineapple slices in 100% pineapple juice (not syrup) use 3/4 cup of juice reserve pineapple for recipe
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tamari or Soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch plus 1 1/2 tablespoon of water for cornstarch slurry
  • (Optional) 3 drops of Beet juice food coloring all natural from beet juice

Directions

  • 1. As a child I always loved going to my local Chinese restaurant to order my favorite and that was Sweet and Sour Chicken. Since then I created a slightly healthier version that everyone can make at home with all the same great flavors and without all the added Red dyes and chemicals. What I love about this recipe it is so versatile if you are not in the mood for chicken you can use Shrimp, Pork and even a vegetarian version firm tofu. You can even adjust the sweet and sour sauce to your taste by adding more sugar if you want it sweeter and by adding more vinegar if you want more of the sour taste. Start by making this easy sweet and sour sauce take 3/4 of a cup of pineapple juice from the can of sliced pineapples in 100% pineapple juice and save the pineapples slices for later. I have 2 tips. make sure you don't use the canned pineapple in syrup and the reason we are not using fresh pineapple juice it seems to not let the cornstarch slurry thicken up the sauce. In a bowl with the pineapple juice add sugar, tamari, ketchup, and white wine vinegar and stir to combine. Turn on the burner to medium when the sugar has melted in the sauce and the sauce has a slight simmer mix the cornstarch slurry together that is equal parts cornstarch and water and stir into the sweet and sour sauce as it is simmering on the burner. It only takes about 1 or 2 minutes to thicken up and remove it from the heat and set aside. If you want you can add the all natural beet root food coloring at the time and stir. The ketchup helps give the sweet and sour sauce that great red coloring naturally.
  • 2. Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. In a large sauté pan add the vegetable oil and turn on burner to medium high heat. Take your chicken bites and roll them into the cornstarch making sure all sides are coated in the cornstarch. Then drop them into the egg bath making sure all side are coated with the sticky egg and cornstarch mixture. The chicken goes from the wet egg wash directly into the hot vegetable oil for about 3 minutes on each side until nice and golden brown then remove and set aside. Don't worry the chicken will be placed back into the pan with the sweet and sour sauce and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until cooked all the way through.
  • 3. When all the chicken is removed from the pan check the amount of oil you have left in the pan, if you have more than 1 tablespoon of hot oil remove the rest from the pan carefully. The reason for this is we will be adding everything back to this same pan and you don't want your final dish to be to oily. Turn burner down to medium and add your onions and bell peppers and sauté the vegetables for about 3 minutes until they release their juices and when that happens scape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan this will help flavor the sauce.
  • 4. When the vegetables are finished cooking turn down burner to medium low and add the pineapple from the can , the cooked chicken and sweet and sour sauce stir to combine all the ingredients and let simmer for a few minutes to finish cooking the chicken until it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees and you see no pink juices. Pour over your favorite rice to soak up all that delicious sweet and sour sauce and you can garnish with the green parts of the scallion and toasted sesame seeds if you desire. This is a fantastic family friendly meal everyone would love.

Recipe Video:

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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