Who doesn’t love Chinese take out? I know that North American restaurant style Chinese food is vastly different from authentic Chinese cuisine (which I also enjoy!), but I have a soft spot for good old restaurant style Chinese food. Sometimes we go out to a Chinese buffet – there is a great chain of restaurants up here in Ontario called Mandarin. Usually though, when I do get the craving, I prefer to order take out. There is something special about getting Chinese food to go. I just love those Chinese take out boxes!
Looking at the menu from a Chinese restaurant can be difficult for me, because there are far too many dishes I want to order. One item that needs to be ordered every time is some form of sweet and sour dish. Whether it is chicken, pork or shrimp, I love a sweet and sour stir fry. I must admit, it is all about the sauce. A good sweet and sour sauce needs to have a nice tang to it and the perfect sweetness. I love it all over the meat, veggies and maybe even some pineapple chunks too. Sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice is pretty close to perfection for me!!
I have never been successful in replicating a sweet and sour sauce that rivals what I eat at a good Chinese restaurant. I decided it was time to get serious about this and come up with a recipe that worked. This dish was great and the sauce was perfect. Everyone in the family loved it and they all said it was as good or better than anything from a restaurant. That was all I needed to hear!
- 3 tbsp oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 carrots
- 1 green pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp water (optional)
- 1 can pineapple chunks/tidbits in juice
- ⅓ cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
- ¼ cup pineapple juice (from the can of pineapple)
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 teaspoons corn starch
- Cut the chicken breasts into ½ inch chunks.
- Peel and slice the carrots.
- Cut the pepper and onion into ½-1 inch pieces.
- Drain the pineapple from the can reserving ¼ cup of the pineapple juice.
- Heat a wok or frypan on medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil. Stir in the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Scoop the chicken onto a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and dump in the sliced carrots, pepper and onion. Cover the wok or frypan with a lid. Check every couple minutes and stir to ensure the vegetables do not stick to the bottom of the pan. If needed, add the optional 2 tbsp of water which will help steam the veggies and keep them from burning.
- Once the carrots are starting to soften, lower the heat and add the pineapple chunks and cooked chicken.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, ensuring the corn starch is dissolved.
- Pour the sauce into the frypan and stir it gently through the chicken and veggies. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve on cooked rice.