Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Healthier Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken

My family loves Sweet and Sour Chicken, but it’s normally prepared with sauces that contain a lot of things I can’t pronounce and that makes me very nervous. I don’t like the artificial day-glo colour of normal sweet and sour either and I find the flavour way too intense. This recipe is a much milder, but still incredibly flavourful, version that is way better for you than store bought. It takes a bit more effort than your average stir fry, but preparation is still only about thirty minutes if you get everything organised first. Be sure to use pasture raised, organic or other ethically sourced chicken breasts if you possibly can.

To serve four to five people you need:-

1 to 1½ cups long grain rice
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup apricot jam (I use Bonne Maman brand)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
(I keep my ginger root ready peeled in the freezer and just grate it frozen.)
¾ cup cashews
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sesame or mild olive work best)
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1 cup baby corn
1 cup snow peas
½ cup sliced scallions (spring onions)

Preheat the oven to 375 or 190. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Mix the flour, paprika and pepper together and dredge the chicken breasts in this mixture. Lay them on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for half an hour, without turning, or until no pink remains inside.

Meanwhile, about fifteen minutes before the chicken is done, cook the rice in boiling water according to package directions.

Mix together the jam, cider vinegar, soy sauce and ginger. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium to high heat. Stir fry the carrots, peppers and baby corn for about five minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and carefully slice it into bite size pieces.

Add the snow peas and scallions to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan or wok and stir fry for a further three or four minutes. Add the cooked chicken and the sauce and stir to warm through.

Serve on a bed of rice.

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