Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Auntie Pearl's Sweet and Sour Chicken

When I got married, a dear woman who watched me grow up made me a recipe book.  She collected recipes and notes from family and friends and put them all together in an amazingly scrapbooked cookbook.  Someday I will have to write a post about the cookbook itself, as it has been such a blessing to me these last seven-and-a-half years.  But today I want to share the recipe that was submitted by Auntie Pearl.

Auntie Pearl is our dad’s mom’s sister.  At 95-years old and under 5-feet tall, she never ceases to amaze us!  She has so much energy and is very active.  Whenever we get a chance to visit, we know there will always be something tasty to eat.  For my wedding cookbook, she shared her sweet and sour chicken recipe; and it has since become one of Robbie’s favorite dishes.

The original recipe calls for boneless, skinless thighs.  I have also made it with boneless, skinless breasts, cut in halves or quarters.

I think what makes this dish so good is the homemade sauce.  I’ve made it for eggrolls and it was a great dipping sauce.

Auntie Pearl’s Sweet and Sour Chicken
12 boneless, skinless thighs
Oil for frying

1 c. sugar
½ c. rice vinegar
¾ c. water
5 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Mix all sauce ingredients in medium saucepan.  Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Set aside, cover.

1 c. cornstarch
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder

Heat about ¾-inch of oil in skillet to about 375°.  Mix all batter ingredients together.  Batter will be very thick.  Roll chicken in batter and fry in hot oil until golden and crispy, about 5-10 minutes on each side.  Do not worry about the chicken being done—it will finish cooking in the oven.

If desired, dice a green pepper and some pineapple.  Place in bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Roll fried chicken in sauce and place in dish.  Pour excess sauce over chicken.  

Bake 30-45 minutes, using a thermometer to ensure doneness.  Great served with white rice and can be garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


StaceyN said...

I am just NOT into coming up with clever dinner ideas now that Christmas burnout has set it (I'm feeling fat, pregnant and motivationally challenged :-)). This chicken recipe looks so easy and good, and I have everything on hand to make it, so tonight's dinner is decided! Thanks for the recipe. I was seriously considering oatmeal for tonight, so my family thanks you, too, LOL!

I'm so sorry you and the kiddos had the flu and were unable to to come up north. I was really looking forward to meeting you at church. I hope you were feeling well enough to enjoy Christmas. God bless you and your family this New Year.

StaceyN said...

Wow, we had this for dinner last night, and it was DELISH! I added a sliced onion with the pepper and pineapple and a little extra soy sauce(we are salt addicts!) but did everything else according to your recipe. It was really quick and easy and we all couldn’t help but overeat. The breading on the chicken is the best part. I have never used corn starch for a batter before but it may become a mainstay now.

I’m thinking about trying it again tonight and baking the chicken on a baking sheet without the sauce so it stays crunchy and then pouring the sauce over it right before we eat. Do you think that would keep it crunchy? Either way, this is the best homemade S&S chicken we've eaten and a recipe I will use again and again. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Sumiko said...

Glad you liked it, Stacey!! Yes, baking it first should work. I have done bite-sized pieces before--like you get at a Chinese restaurant. I made a ton then froze them after frying. I just popped them in the oven straight from the freezer at about 400 degrees until hot and crispy then tossed them with the sauce. The bite-sized version takes a lot more time, though, because of the frying. Let us know how baking it goes!!

And both my sister and I are salt lovers too. =-)

StaceyN said...

I am totally into freezer meals! I used to make up 6 months of meals at a time when my big boys were toddlers. I am definitely going to try out frying and freezing in quantity. I don't usually do a lot of frying, so it would be nice to make the mess once and then enjoy the yummy chicken for a number of meals. I think I'll freeze up some unthickened sauce with the veggies, too, so I can just add corn starch and boil. Thanks for the tips!

And the salt thing... ugh! it doesn't seem to jive well with pregnancy. Every night I go to bed with fat, swollen feet and wake up with a puffy face, but I just can't seem to kick the habit. After I have this baby, I'm going to celebrate with extra salty French fries dipped in extra salt! And then I'm going on a diet LOL.

Elisa said...

Sumiko - I am so excited to try this recipe! The local place I used to get s&s chicken closed and I tried one recipe at home that was no good. I like the chicken more sweet than sour - do you think this will fit the bill? or, if not, could I get there by adding a little more sugar?

Sumiko said...

Hey, Elisa! This recipe is definitely more on the sweet side than the sour side. I think that's why Robbie likes it so much! =-) But you could definitely add more sugar if desired. Hope it works for you!

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