But it's not neon red!
That's what my husband said when I served up plates of baked sweet and sour chicken after trying a recipe I found on the food blog DamnDelicious.com.
I've been buying more chicken breast lately, taking advantage of the $1.99 per pound everyday price at Harris Teeter that Faye over at WRAL.com's SmartShopper turned me on to last year. Two of those chicken breasts are enough for a dinner for my family of four and one or two lunches for my husband.
So I've been searching around for new chicken breast recipes like those chicken nuggets I shared the other week. This recipe for baked sweet and sour chicken will start making occasional appearances on my dinner rotation.
It's incredibly tasty and very much like the sweet and sour chicken you might get at a Chinese restaurant (sans the neon red coloring). But it's also not incredibly healthy, thanks to the 3/4 cup of sugar that is part of the sauce.
But, hey, everything in moderation. It's like dessert and dinner in one! And it really is very good. The chicken comes out a little crispy and incredibly tender.
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Adapted from DamnDelicious.com
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the sweet and sour sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I used white wine vinegar here because I didn't have any apple cider vinegar. It was a fine substitution).
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I added 1 teaspoon of garlic powder because my family enjoys a garlic flavor).
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray some nonstick spray on a 9x13 baking dish.
Then, make the sauce. Mix the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder together well.
Then, prepare the chicken. Get a large bowl, add some salt and pepper and then stir in the cornstarch so the chicken is all coated. Dip the chicken pieces into the eggs.
Add the vegetable oil to a large saucepan and heat it up. Cook the chicken in the oil until it's golden brown. This takes about one to two minutes. You don't need to cook it through as it will be baking in the oven after this step. Once the chicken is golden brown, move it onto a plate lined with paper towel to get rid of some of the extra oil.
Once the chicken is done, put it in the baking dish and top it with the sweet and sour sauce. Bake the chicken in the sauce for about 55 minutes. I gave the chicken a stir about halfway through the baking time. The recipe calls for stirring it every 15 minutes.
I served it with rice and broccoli. It was delicious!
Go Ask Mom features recipes every Friday. For more, check WRAL.com's recipe database.