Monday, February 27, 2012

Better Than Takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken

The other night I was craving Chinese but I was not craving the icky, bloated feeling I tend to get after eating Chinese takeout.  I don't know if it's because I can't decide on one dish and order a few then eat too much, or what but I never feel good about my decision to order takeout.

I scanned the internet looking for a new Chinese recipe.  I have great recipes for Ginger Beef Stir Fry and General Tso's Chicken but I was looking for something new.  I came across quite a few recipes that I wanted to try but the decision was made based on what I had in my refrigerator!  I really wanted to make orange chicken but I was out of oranges.  I have to be sure to stock up on some so I can try that recipe soon!  I decided on the sweet and sour chicken because I had all of the ingredients on hand (actually, all are staples in my pantry/fridge!) and it looked like it would hit the spot.

I did make a few changes to the original recipe.  Instead of whole eggs, I used just egg whites and I used one pound of chicken tenders instead of breasts.  I also added some broccoli which eliminated the need to cook a vegetable!  Winning!

The flavor of this chicken is nice - Not overly sweet or sour.  The coating from the cornstarch held up nicely while the chicken cooked with the sauce.  I served this over Jasmine rice which I mixed with some diced fresh pineapple.  This is a great alternative to takeout Chinese food and I think this would be a great option for a dinner party!

Recipe is adapted from How Sweet It Is via Kitchen Cafe.
Serves: 3-4

1 pound chicken tenders
2 egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
salt & pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
nonstick spray
2-3 small broccoli crowns, cut into pieces

3/4 cup sugar
4 T ketchup
1/2 apple cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1T garlic

Preheat oven to 325 and spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Prepare sauce by combining sugar through garlic.  Set aside.

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour oil in a skillet large enough to fit the chicken and preheat.  If the skillet isn't large enough, you'll have to cook in batches as you don't want to overcrowd the pan.  The skillet is ready when the oil ripples.  You can also test the oil by putting a little bit of cornstarch in the oil.  If it bubbles right away, the oil is ready.

Set up two shallow dishes - One for the egg whites and the other for the cornstarch.  Beat the egg whites until combined.  In batches, add the chicken to the egg then to the cornstarch to coat.  Once the chicken is coated, add to the skillet and brown.  Once the chicken is brown on one side, flip over and cook another couple of minutes, just until the chicken is almost done.  Place chicken in the baking dish and cover with sauce.  Cook for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Add the broccoli in for the last 20-30 minutes, depending on how much you like your broccoli cooked.

Serve over rice and enjoy.

*I felt this made the perfect amount of sauce, however you can make extra if needed - Add all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and simmer until thick.


  1. Fave Chinese Food.... chicken with sweet and sour sauce.

    Chinese takeaway

    1. You should try this recipe. It's sooo good and super simple!