Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Yield: SERVES 4
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- optional vegetables: 1/2 green bell pepper and/or 1 stalk celery, sliced
- oil for frying
- garnish: handful fresh coriander/cilantro
- SWEET & SOUR SAUCE:
- 2 14-oz. cans (348 ml) pineapple chunks packed in juice (= 1+1/2 cups juice and 1+1/2 cups fruit)
- 1/2 cup white vinegar OR red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne (reduce for children)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- optional: 2 drops red food coloring
- Make the sweet & sour sauce first. Pour one can of pineapple chunks (with juice) into a medium to large pot, frying pan or wok. Drain the juice from the other can into the pot, squeezing out all the juice from the fruit (save this for eating or other dishes). Add the vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, cayenne, lemon juice and ketchup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to get a nice strong simmer for 12-15 minutes, uncovered, or until sauce reduces by one-third.
- Still simmering over medium heat, add the red pepper (plus other vegetables if using) and continue cooking 5 minutes.
- Stir cornstarch into the water with a fork until dissolved and add to the sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly.
- Taste-test the sauce, looking for a balance of sweet and sour, plus a hit of spice and just a hint of salt. If you find it too sour, add more sugar; if too sweet or too salty, add more lemon juice. Set sauce aside.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and garlic salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg with the milk.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the milk/egg mixture, then roll in the flour mixture and set on a clean plate (I find it helps to use your fingers for dipping, then chopsticks for rolling in the flour).
- Pour oil to 1 inch deep in a wok or small frying pan (for a quicker, easier method, see below). Heat over high heat 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dip one of the chicken pieces in - if it sizzles and starts to cook, the oil is hot enough. Reduce heat as you fry in order to prevent splattering. Fry chicken pieces until light golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
- Bring the sweet and sour sauce to a slow simmer over medium-low heat and add the fried chicken pieces, gently stirring them into the sauce. When heated through, plate up the dish and sprinkle with fresh coriander. Serve with rice and ENJOY!
Quick & Easy Version: This is an easier frying method that's just as yummy. Instead of deep-frying the chicken, roll chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then pan-fry in 4 Tbsp. oil. Fry 3-4 minutes per side, or until light golden brown and cooked through. Continue with the last step to put the dish together.