Sweet and Sour Chicken

sweetnsourchicken

Tonight I had a classic single girl’s dinner. I was in no mood for take-out. Well, that’s not true, I was in the mood for takeout-like food, but I wanted it to be a little healthier and also didn’t want to buy a million groceries. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to take credit for this dish, but you could probably trick your friends into thinking you picked up dinner at your favorite Chinese restaurant… it is that good. I love that this super Americanized  dish is baked– you’re getting all that great flavor without the added fat and grease from frying.  Baking it on low(ish) heat for 45 minutes also allows the chicken to become very tender and the sauce perfectly caramelized. The sauce does have a little more sugar than I would normally use, but it’s necessary for the taste/ consistency. I think next time I will try experimenting with Stevia. I served this over fried rice, recipe below.

Ingredients

Chicken coating:
  • 3-4 boneless chicken cutlets ($5.40)
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch ($.75)
  • 1 egg, beaten ($.25)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil ($.25)
Sauce:
  • 3/4 C sugar ($.50)
  • 4 tbs ketchup ($.10)
  • 1/2 C white vinegar ($.20)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce ($.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Total: $7.50

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water, pat dry with paper towel, and then cut into cubes or strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into egg.  Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through, about 6 minutes. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 C cooked white rice ($1.50)
  • 3 tbs sesame oil ($.50)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots ($.50)
  • 1 small onion, chopped ($.40)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic ($.20)
  • 2 eggs, beaten ($.50)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce ($.40)

Total: $4.00

Instructions

On medium-high, heat the sesame oil in a wok or skillet.  Add the onion and garlic, cook 1 minute, then add peas and carrots. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry 2 minutes.

friedrice

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