Speedy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tonight's meal basically came about just because I was ready for something different. I knew that Scott would really like this meal because he is always asking me to make stirfry.

--Speedy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe: from BetterRecipes.com

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 red sweet pepper cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained, reserving juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Rice or soba (buckwheat) noodles

Directions: Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, add chicken, onion and pepper strips, and stir-fry about 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm. Mix cornstarch, pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and tomato sauce in a small bowl; add to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens. Add chicken mixture back to pan; add pineapple chunks and heat through. Serve over rice or soba noodles.

Here's what I started with:

Here's how I did it:

#1 I sliced up a medium onion.

#2 I cut up a red pepper.

#3 I cut up 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

#4 I measured out all of the rest of the ingredients and put them into a separate small bowl. I measured out 1T of cornstarch.

#2 Drained a can of pineapples and put the juice in the bowl.

#3 1/2 cup of brown sugar

#4 1T of soy sauce

#5 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

#6 1/2 cup of tomato sauce

#7 I heated a wok until it was steaming hot.

#8 I covered the bottom with 3-4T of olive oil and then I threw the chicken in.

#9 The peppers and onions went in with the chicken for about 5-6 minutes.

#10 The chicken, onions and pepper were pulled out and the sauce mixture went in.

#11 The sauce mixture cooked until it thickened up a bit and then the chicken, onions and peppers went back in.

#12 Finally, the pineapple chunks went into the wok and I let them cook for 5-6 minutes.

While all of this was going on, I also made some Uncle Ben's rice according to the directions on the box.
The Finished Product:

This dish provided a good alternative to other dishes we have had lately. I actually liked the pineapples chunks in there and I wasn't sure that I would. The sauce smelled so good while it was cooking and it had a really good flavor to it.
For me, I missed some spice to it. While the flavor was really good, I usually like it just a little bit spicer. I think I should have added a hot pepper or hot pepper flakes. Since the sauce had rice wine vinegar and brown sugar in it and then there were pineapple chunks in it, as well, it was just a little sweet for me. Scott, however, really liked it.
The one thing that I should have done differently was to keep the rice and the mixture separate. I just poured the whole mixture over the rice in one bowl and I think it made the rice a little soggy. Also, I think I should have let the sauce cook a little longer and thicken up just a bit more. I also would have cut the bell pepper up into 1/4 inch chunks instead of long strips.
Overall, this has been the best stirfry or Chinese type food that I have tried. I think that I will make it again but I will definitely give it a little spicy kick.


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