Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sweet & Sour Chicken {+Skinny Version}


Every recipe I post on here is one we love.  This one right here is the top of the top though.  I don't even remember exactly where I got this recipe from.  I have very distinct memories of trying to figure out how to make it in one of our first apartments we lived in as newlywed college students.  I have made it countless times since then.  Our kids have grown up with it and when I ask, "What do you guys want for dinner?", this is easily the most requested meal.  Before I discovered this recipe, I used to love ordering Sweet and Sour Chicken when we'd go out for Chinese food.  Honestly, I never do now because this stuff is SO much better!  The crispy breaded coating isn't too thick but adds a the perfect amount of crunch to each bite.  And the flavor of the sauce is just what sweet and sour sauce should be.  I always double the sauce from the original recipe (it's written out as I make it below, so no need to double) because I like to have lots of sauce to pour over the rice or serve on the side as a dip for egg rolls.  As perfectly delicious as this meal is, it's not exactly the healthiest dish.  As I'm getting older and my metabolism is slowing down, I knew I had to come up with a "skinnier" version if wanted to keep eating it like I did 15 years ago.  I've found a solution that drastically reduces the calories yet delivers the beloved sweet and sour taste.  Now when I make this meal, I cut up one chicken breast and put it right in the cooking dish.  I cut up, dip and fry the rest of the chicken and put them in the baking dish with the "naked" chicken.  Pour the sauce over all of it and bake it as directed.



I'll be the first to admit that the skinny chicken isn't exactly the same as the original.  You just can't beat the original.  I usually sneak a piece or two of the crusted chicken but eating a serving of the skinny version leaves me feeling totally satisfied and so much healthier.  You're getting the exact same sweet and sour flavor with the sauce so I totally get my S&S fix.


This is a great meal to prepare ahead of time if you know you're going to have a busy night.  I do everything up to the point of baking it and then put it in the fridge.  When it's almost time for dinner, I pull it out of the fridge and stick it in the oven to cook, as directed.  Whether you mak the original recipe, the skinny version or a mix of the two, you MUST try this.  I'll bet it'll become a family favorite for you too!

Ingredients
Chicken:
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 cup cornstarch
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup ketchup
2 1/2 TBS soy sauce

Directions
Original Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350.  Cut chicken into strips or large chunks.  Mix flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper in gallon sized ziploc bag.  Place chicken strips in bag and coat evenly with flour mixture.  Heat oil in deep frying pan over high heat.  When oil is hot, put coated chicken in oil, one at a time until pan is full (it usually takes two rounds of cooking for me to get all the chicken in).  Cook on one side until crispy and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn chicken over and cook until other side is crispy and golden brown.  Place in a baking dish.  In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Pour sauce over the chicken.  Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Skinny Version:
Cut chicken breasts into strips or large chunks and place in baking dish, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  In a In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Pour sauce over the chicken.  Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Serve over brown rice.

As a Freezer Meal:
You can also prepare this as a freezer meal.  Place skinny or fried chicken (once it's cooled) and sauce into a gallon sized, freezer ziploc bag.  When you're ready to use it, thaw, put in a baking dish and bake as directed.

2 comments:

Jamie Young said...

Amen!! This really is amazing and I love picturing you making this in your little Wymount apartment. It's been a family favorite of ours since then as well, thanks for passing it along! We'll have to try the skinny version too, great idea!

Janessa said...

Good memories indeed! I love that it's one of your family favorites too! You'll have to let me know what you think of the skinny version.

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