Sweet and Sour Chicken (Swet and Sor Chiken)

Written By Lucy Pinder on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | 10:50 PM


Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup baby carrots
1 cucumber
1/2 red bell pepper
1 garlic clove

Marinade:
2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp cornstarch
Batter:
1 - 2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 TB potato starch*

Sauce**:
4 1/2 TB rice vinegar
1 1/2 TB black rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
3 TB tomato paste
4 1/2 TB brown sugar
3/8 tsp chile sauce, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 6 teaspoons water

3 1/4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying

Directions:

Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes. Marinate in the rice wine or sherry and cornstarch for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables: mince the garlic clove, peel and cut the cucumber into thin slices, and cut the red pepper into cubes. Chop the baby carrots. Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch the carrots briefly in the boiling water. Drain thoroughly.

In a small saucepan, add the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and keep warm.

To deep-fry the chicken: Preheat 3 cups of oil to 350 - 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While waiting for the oil to heat, brush the chicken cubes with the beaten egg and dip in the potato starch to cover. Deep-fry the dredged chicken pieces in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry for 3 - 4 minutes until the chicken turns golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To deep-fry the chicken a second time if desired: bring the oil temperature up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep-fry the chicken in batches, very briefly for less than a minute, until the chicken turns brown. Drain on paper towels.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. When oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add the carrots. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add the red peppers. Add the cucumber or save to use as a garnish. Bring the sauce back up to a boil and add to the wok, mixing with the vegetables. Add the chicken. Heat through and serve over rice. Garnish with the cucumber if desired.

*Cornstarch can be substituted for the potato starch

**This recipe is designed to make extra sauce for mixing in with the rice. It can easily be adjusted either up or down depending on how much sauce you want - just be sure to keep the proportions constant. For 3/4 lb of chicken, reduce quantities by 1/3 - ie. use 3 TB rice vinegar, 1 TB black rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 2 TB tomato paste, etc.

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