BAKED SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

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Easily the most popular recipe on my blog, this sweet and sour chicken is a miracle of a dish. Baked, not fried, it has been a family favorite for over a decade!

My husband, Brian, requests it for his birthday, Father’s Day and any other day he has the craving (which seriously would be every day if I was willing to make it that often).

Invented on a college budget more than ten years ago, it is absolutely divine and remains one of our family favorites.

A million percent better than any takeout, the chicken bakes up tender with a beautiful crust and is coated perfectly with the sweet and tangy flavors of the sauce.

Over the years, I’ve barely changed the recipe – but thanks to your comments, I have added a few tidbits to help make the whole coating-and-cooking chicken thing a bit less messy.

Make this! You’ll love it, I promise.

INGREDIENTS:

CHICKEN:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola, vegetable or coconut oil

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (see note for substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch or slightly larger pieces. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot and rippling. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet.
  4. Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side until the crust is golden but the chicken is not all the way cooked through (this is where it’s really important to have a hot skillet/oil). Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a 9X13-inch baking dish and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  5. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake for one hour, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.

NOTES:

See the recipe post for a ton of FAQ’s about this recipe (substitutions, etc).

If you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the recipe instructions; pour the other half in a small saucepan and cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.

Often I’ll sub in rice vinegar for the apple cider vinegar for a milder/slightly sweeter flavor.

Source: melskitchencafe.com

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