Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is my favorite recipe for sweet and sour chicken.  I absolutely love it.  It is a simple, but time consuming recipe when you include the chicken.  I wanted to try to make some healthier chicken to go with it.  There are two separate parts for the recipe.  Mixing the sauce, then including the rest of the ingredients and cooking more.  This will not be the bright orange sauce you get in all the restaurants.  And it will be a little thinner, too.

Note about the ingredients: There is ketchup in it and no, it’s not a mistake.  I can’t find the original ingredient that the recipe calls for and the glossary says that ketchup is an acceptable substitute.  There is a difference between tin and dark soy sauce.  As explained in the cookbook, you can tell the difference between by looking at the ingredients – dark soy sauce has sugar and caramel.  Without it, the soy sauce is thin.

Ingredients 1 – A couple notes: the cup is pineapple juice, the bag is chicken broth.  I ran out of white vinegar so I was going to supplement with apple cider vinegar.
SSC_Ingredients

Instead, I substituted this:
SSC_Vinegar

Yea – don’t do the substitution.  If you don’t have the white vinegar, go to the store…..trust me!

All ingredients mixed to sit in the fridge for at least an hour.  You could put this in a bowl, but this was the easiest way to mix it up in my view.
SSC_Mixed

When you are ready to eat, get these together (I forgot the sesame oil in the picture).  It’s supposed to be 3/4 cup of pepper, but I just use one whole one.
SSC_Ingredients2

Saute the garlic and ginger in the unpictured oil, then add the sauce, pepper and pineapple to get this:
SSC_Sauce1

After it is bubbling, add cornstarch and water to thicken and simmer some more.  You can see that the oil is no longer as prevalent as in the previous picture.  I didn’t measure the pineapple and may have added too much.  I don’t mind though, I love the cooked pineapple.  I also realized at this point that I probably should have used the red pepper instead of the yellow.
SSC_Sauce2

As for the chicken, I cut it up, tossed it with some flour and pepper.  I am not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I put some oil in the wok and went along my way.
SSC_Chicken

At this point, I realized that the rice I was gonna use was bad.  *SIGH*  So I put everything on low and cooked some rice.  For dinner, I served it with a flat egg roll.
SSC_Dinner

I was eating and it just wasn’t as good as I had made in the past.  I changed two things in the recipe, the vinegar that I mentioned above and that I used fresh pineapple and pineapple juice instead of canned.  I don’t think it was the pineapple change that did it.  It just didn’t taste right with the Rice Vinegar.  It saddened me.  I waited SOO long to make this…..cause I was lazy!  The chicken turned out really well, too.  I don’t think the flour made much of a difference, but I definitely need to season with more pepper.  I could barely taste it.  In the original recipe, the chicken sits in a mixture that includes pepper and it just adds another layer of flavor to the dish.  It was definitely missing from this.  Next time, just saute the chicken and DO NOT substitute the vinegar.

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