Homemade sweet and sour chicken that's tossed in a thick sweet and sour sauce. No need for Chinese takeout when you can make it fresh in the comfort of your home.
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces. Next, place chicken into a large bowl season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the bowl with the chicken. Mix well. Make sure all of the chicken is coated with the eggs. Cover and place the chicken into the fridge.
Cut the bell peppers, pineapple and onions into 1 inch pieces. Set them to the side separately.
Add all of the sweet and sour sauce ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix well. Set to the side
To make the slurry which will thicken the sauce, take 4 tbsp of the sweet sour sauce and pour it into a small bowl then add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the same bowl. Mix very well until the clumps are gone. Set to the side.
Have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready. Set up the dredging station. Next, add cornstarch and flour to a ziplock bag or bowl with 1/8 tsp of salt. Mix to combine.
Add a couple pieces of chicken into the flour/cornstarch or bowl and dredge. Shake of the excess flour mixture. Place each coated chicken on the parchment lined baking sheet to rest. Dredge the rest of the chicken.
Add oil to a large skillet. Just enough to barely cover the chicken, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches of oil. Once the oil heats up to 350 F add the chicken to the oil. You can add several pieces at one time but don't overcrowd the skillet or the oil temperature will go down and the chicken won't turn out crispy. Using a heat proof spoon or spatula, spread the chicken out so it's not touching.
In the skillet with the oil, over medium high heat, saute the vegetables until softened to your preference. Keep the vegetables in the skillet.
Pour the sauce into the skillet with the cooked vegetables. Let it come to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling add the slurry. Mix well. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
At this point, you can add cayenne pepper or crushed red peppers if you want a more spicier sauce. Serve over rice.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, this homemade sweet n sour chicken takes some time to prep. To make things easy it's BEST to prep EVERYTHING first. Get all the ingredients out, dice the veggies, grate the ginger, dice the pineapples and so on.
If you don't like pineapples or if you're allergic to them, you can substitute the pineapple for mangoes.
For more variety, you can use shredded carrots or broccoli.
FYI, I seasoned the chicken with 1 3/4 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. I also added about 1/8 tsp of salt to the flour mixture then mixed to combine.
Give the chicken in the bowl a good stir before you dredge it into the flour, or the egg may sink to the bottom of the bowl. We want to make sure the there's egg on all of the chicken. So every now and then stir.
The dredge: When coating the chicken with the flour there's no need to worry about whether the chicken is coated enough. Just dredge the chicken one time shake off excess and place it on the baking sheet. If you dredge the chicken too much you may run out of the flour mixture.
Fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes. You can fry several pieces of chicken at a time but don't overcrowd the skillet. Using a heat proof strainer or spoon, spread the chicken out so it's not touching on another.
Try not to overcook the chicken or the pieces may become tough and no one likes tough chicken.
The chicken is done when the temperature on a meat thermometer reads 165 F. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice. I made this dish with the coconut rice.
Shortcuts - Substitute store brand sweet chili sauce for the homemade Chinese sweet and sour sauce. Sometimes I like to keep sweet chili sauce on hand to make easy Chinese takeout at home.
When I'm in a rush, I reach for the ginger in the tube, however I used 2 inches of fresh ginger in this recipe. You can also substitute fresh bell peppers for a bag of the frozen ones. Feel free to use canned Pineapple if you like as well.