Non-Fatass Sweet and Sour Chicken
Recipe by Pinkerton Uploaded by Haschel Cedricson
Let me preface this post by saying that I love American-style Chinese food. Yes, I realize that the U.S. variant is not at all authentic, however sometimes there is just nothing better than fried chicken smothered in a sticky-sweet sauce and eaten from a white paper carton. That being said, this is not the type of food I thought I could eat everyday, at least if I wanted to live to see my 30th birthday.
So I'm really glad I came across this recipe for "Heart Healthy" Sweet and Sour Chicken in an old American Heart Association cookbook. It's light, delicious, and not sickingly sweet or covered in a quarter inch of fried batter like many other recipes. Best of all, it's pretty good for you: one serving has only 248 calories and 4 grams of fat.
To start, you will need the following ingredients:
For the sauce...
- 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits in their own juice, drained with 1/2 cup of juice reserved
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (i have used both light and dark and they both work well - I will use dark today)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp low-salt soy sauce
For the chicken...
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 pound chicken tenders, cubed and with fat removed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries (i was out of these, so I had to omit -- but they are good!)
In a non-copper bowl, mix the pineapple juice, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, 2 tsp cornstarch, and soy sauce. Make sure all the clumps of cornstarch have been dissolved! Set the sauce aside, while we cook the chicken.
You then nead to coat the cubed chicken with 1 tbsp of flour and 1 tbsp of cornstarch. I find that the easiest way to do this is combine the flour/cornstarch mixture and chicken in a plastic bag and just shake, shake, shake, shake-a, shake-it! (Sorry about the bad, but catchy, song reference.) When this is done, the chicken pieces should all be lightly coated with the mixture. If there are some clumps, don't sweat it. The dish will still turn out fine.
Next, heat the canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, add the chicken. Cook on the first side for approximately 4 minutes and then flip with tongs. The chicken should be a light golden brown.
While the second side of the chicken is cooking, cut up your pepper and onion into roughly 3/4 inch slices.
After about four minutes of cooking, both sides of the chicken should be golden brown. At this point, you want to remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a seperate plate.
In the same skillet, throw in the red pepper and onion. If your oil was hot enough, there should be plenty of oil left to cook the veggies. Cook for three minutes, flipping a few times in the process. You want your vegetables to be crisp, so don't cook them for too long! Three minutes is usually the perfect amount of time.
Once the peppers and onion have cooked, add the sauce mixture, that you made previously, into the pan. Cook for about two minutes and the sauce should thicken nicely. Be sure to stir the sauce and veggie mixture several times during this cooking process or else it will burn.
When the mixture looks like the above, it's time to add the cooked cubed chicken pieces, the pineapple, and the maraschino cherries. Stir everything together real well and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve with white rice.
The recipe supposedly yields 4 servings, although I usually only get 3 out of it. But, hey, you could go nuts and eat the whole thing and still consume less fat than is in a Big Mac.