Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken

The Lowdown:

Okay, we all have our dirty habits. Some people smoke, some people masturbate in public, some people drink Budweiser, etc. It just so happens that sweet and sour chicken is one of a mine (one out of two million bad habits to be precise). I know its not technically Chinese food, and I also know the health benefits are comparable to Cheetos, and I also know that every foodie is going to cringe. I'm okay with all of these. I had broccoli for lunch, I don't really care about rigid food rules, and foodies will always do what they do best -- complain.   

So there I was sitting at my computer, doing math homework (yay), when all of a sudden it hit me. Hunger. So I got out my yellow pages and searched for Chinese (it that sounds so racist when typed). The whole philosophy was that I could continue plugging away at the aforementioned homework while also satisfying my primal urge to ravage a Friday night take-out classic. One key issue. It's Friday night and I'm doing math homework like I'm some sort of dweeb. Surely, if I keep this up I'll get shoved into a locker and all my lunch money stolen in no time.

Obviously, I decided that cooking was a much better waste of time than math. Besides, I needed to listen to some music or I'd go insane. To break the silence, the album of choice tonight is The Alan Parsons Project, "Pyramid." With the steady rhythm of acid induced British progressive rock, and the MSG ready to go, it was time to start. 

The Ingredients:
1/2 cup Flour.
1 tsp Baking powder.
1/2 tsp Baking soda.
1 tsp White pepper.
1 tsp Course salt.
1 Egg

1 Chicken breast, cubed.
1 cup Vegetable oil (for frying).

1 Bell pepper, chopped.
1 Mango, cubed (optional).
1/4 - 1/2 Pineapple, cubed.
3/4 cup Sugar (I only use 1/4 - 1/2 cup because my ex-good body is getting handles).
2 cups Water.
1/2 cup Vinegar.
1 tbsp Orange zest.
3 drops Red food colouring (I ended up using red sugar sprinkles for cake decoration because I was too lazy to go to the store to get food colouring).

3 tbsp Corn starch
1/4 cup Water.

 The Skinny:                                                                                 
  1. Combined fist six ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.
  2. Add enough water into the mixture to turn into the consistency of pancake mix.
  3. Add cubed chicken, ensuring that each piece is well coated.
  4. Set chicken and batter aside.
  5. In a medium sauce pan combined the peppers, mango, pineapple, 2 cups water, sugar, orange zest, vinegar, and food colouring.
  6. Bring sweet and sour sauce to a boil on medium heat.
  7. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
  8. To thicken, mix the 1/4 cup water and corn starch into a cup and mix until it forms a slurry. Pour it slowly into the sweet and sour sauce, making sure to mix thoroughly every few tablespoons worth of corn starch water.
  9. On medium-high heat add oil to a large skillet or wok.
  10. Once oil is heated, place battered chicken into wok and fry until browned (5-10 minutes).
  11. Drizzle sweet and sour sauce over the fried chicken.
  12. Serve on noodles or rice or by itself.

    NOTE: if you want to reheat the sweet and sour chicken it is best to leave the sauce off of the chicken balls (haha), other wise it will get soggy overnight.
Featured in Chef in Training33 Shades of Green

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