Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken & Vegetable Fried Rice

Perfect for the evening when you already have leftover rice in the fridge in need of a little inspiration, but are craving the ease of Chinese takout or the feast of a buffet.  This Sweet and Sour chicken is easy on both the budget, and the waistline; plus the use of cornstarch makes it gluten free, yay!  It does take a little more time though, so save it for an evening when you have more to spend at the stove.  I guarantee that it is well worth the effort, and will become regular rotation.  Promise!

I've seen this particular recipe being pinned and repinned quite a bit lately on the ol' Pinterest, but one thing that I've noticed about all of those recipes, is that they are lacking vegetables!  Maybe it's the Canadian adaptation of this westernized Chinese dish?  But to me, it's not a sweet and sour dish without the peppers and pineapple!   But if that's not your thing, this dish could easily be made without the veg, and the chicken could be swapped for pork, if that is your thing! 

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Recipe adapted from: Six Sisters Stuff

Chicken and Veg
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350F.  Have cornstarch in one bowl and set aside, and beat the eggs in another bowl and set aside.  Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt & pepper.  Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.  Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken in small amounts until browned, but not cooked through (cooking it in small sections will allow for the pan to stay hot, and the prevent the chicken from sticking together, so you have crispy chicken pieces, not a chicken blob!).   Place the half-cooked chicken on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet.  In the same hot skillet (no need to clean) saute the peppers, onion, and pineapple, until browned or softened.   While your veg are cooking prepare your sauce in a medium bowl.  Whisk together sugar, ketchup, vinegars, soy sauce and garlic powder.  Add the sauteed vegetables to the chicken and pour the sauce all over.  Bake for one hour, turning every 15 minutes.

Vegetable Fried Rice                                                                                             

3- 4 cups cooked rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
3 tbs sesame oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
salt & pepper
2 green onions, sliced, or cut w/scissors
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup mixed fresh or frozen edamame, peas and carrots
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce

On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the eggs and onion, and scramble.  Add the rice, peas & carrots mix, salt & pepper, garlic powder, soy & worcestershire sauce, and stir fry until veggies are tender and thoroughly heated.  Taste, add more seasoning according to your preference.


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