Sweet and Sour Chicken is cubed chicken breasts that are fried to a golden brown and coated in homemade sweet and sour sauce.
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
Sweet and sour chicken has been a popular choice when it comes to Chinese take-out. This is my very American take on it!
The main part of the recipe is the sauce. There are many varieties of sweet and sour sauce, but most have a base of vinegar and sugar. I added brown sugar and ketchup to my recipe and thickened up the sauce with a cornstarch slurry. And, of course, covered the fried chicken pieces with it.
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
Sweet and Sour Sauce: It starts with the homemade sauce in this recipe. You can also buy sweet and sour sauce at your local grocery store or supermarket.
Chicken: I ended up using three chicken breasts in this recipe; that was about 2 pounds of chicken. Cut it up into small pieces to coat and fry.
Cornstarch: The cornstarch and flour mixture, with the eggs and water, will give you a batter that will fry up the cubes of chicken nicely!
Canola Oil: Use canola oil or vegetable oil for frying.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
Make the sauce before you prepare the chicken. If you make my homemade recipe, it will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Once you have your sauce, it’s all about getting the chicken fried to a golden brown and smothered in the sauce.
To prepare the chicken, first, season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set the chicken aside. In a second large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, beaten eggs, and water. Whisk together and add the seasoned chicken to the batter. Let the chicken marinate in the batter for about 10 minutes. This is the perfect time to heat the oil for frying.
FRYING THE CHICKEN
To fry the chicken, fill up a deep pan with about 2 inches of oil. Heat up the oil over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350°F. Use a candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, it usually takes 12-15 minutes for the oil to reach a temperature of 350°F. Or, you could put a kernel of popcorn into the pan of oil as soon as you begin heating up the oil. As soon as that kernel pops, the oil is ready!
Work in batches to slowly drop the marinated chicken into the hot oil. Fry the pieces for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Place the chicken on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. After each batch of chicken, be sure to check the temperature of the oil before adding more chicken. The temperature may drop after frying each batch. Add the fried chicken to the sweet and sour sauce, tossing to coat. Serve hot, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, and a side of fried rice.
- Sweet and Sour sauce
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup water
- canola oil, for frying
- sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- green onions, for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the cubed chicken, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and set aside.
In a second large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, beaten eggs, and water. Whisk together to form a batter.
Add the cubed chicken pieces to the batter and toss to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Add about 2 inches of oil to a large pot. Heat the oil over medium-low heat until the oil reaches 350°F on a candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer. If you drop a piece of batter into the oil, it should sizzle when it is ready.
When ready, working in batches, slowly drop the marinated chicken in oil and fry until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Drain the chicken on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Continue with the rest of the chicken. (Please note: The oil may need to be heated up to 350°F after each batch of chicken.)
Add the fried chicken to the sweet and sour sauce and toss to coat. Top with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish (optional).