Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have never really been a fan of Sweet and Sour anything. The Sweet and Sour Chicken found in most Asian restaurants drowing in its thick red sauce with deep-fried chicken is just a bit too much. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against deep-fried chicken. I think it is the sauce that always got to me. Once I tried to make it with the jar sauce from the grocery store and that made matters even worse. This recipe however was a very nice only mildly red sauce that was quite light and complemented the dish very well. The ginger added a nice fresh flavor and I really enjoyed the extra kick the chili paste gave the dish. I would make this again and would like to try it with pork as well. 

Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken
from Cooking Light

Ingredients
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
5 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2 x 1/2–inch-thick pieces
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chile paste
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced onion
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced green bell pepper
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced fresh pineapple

Preparation
1. Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; stir well to coat. Set aside.

2. Combine chicken broth, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chile paste, and sesame oil.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, bell peppers, and green onions to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and spread in an even layer; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is done.

5. Return vegetable mixture to pan. Add soy sauce mixture and pineapple, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

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