Saturday, January 9, 2010
Okay, I know. Frying isn't the healthiest way to prepare food. But seriously, our family likes this chicken so much, I'll break out the electric skillet and vegetable oil every once in a while to satisfy our craving for it. This is not a quick and easy meal either. But it's well worth the time and effort that goes into it.
Start by cutting 3-4 chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks. I sometimes will buy chicken on sale and cut it into nuggets, then freeze it so I have it on hand. I can use the nuggets for this recipe or to make homemade chicken nuggets.
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 teas baking soda, 2 teas baking powder and 1 teas salt. Whisk in 1 1/2 cup cold water and stir until there are no lumps. Add chicken and stir to make sure all pieces are well coated.
In a wok or deep skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees. I don't measure the amount of oil. I just want it to be deep enough to fry the chicken pieces. To test to see if the oil is hot enough, I drizzle a little of the batter into the skillet. If it pops up to the surface right away and starts sizzling, I know it's hot enough. Add 8-10 chicken pieces at a time. Any more than that will crowd them, and they'll all stick together.
Turn occasionally to make sure all sides are getting cooked. When the nuggets are golden, remove and drain on paper towels. It usually takes the chicken about 5 minutes to cook. Of course, if your nuggets are big, it will take longer. Remember, you want bite-sized! After the chicken drains, place on a greased cookie sheet or shallow pan and place in a 300-degree oven. This will keep the chicken crisp until all of your nuggets are fried.
Now you can make your sweet and sour sauce. I'm the only one in the family who likes this, so I make a small amount. You will most likely need to double this recipe of your crew likes sauce.
In a small saucepan, stir together 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 TBSP soy sauce, 3 TBSP ketchup and 1/2 teas garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. This sauce will thicken as it stands.
Now put some rice in a bowl. Place several pieces of chicken on top of the rice. Then pour on some sweet and sour sauce. Yum!
My kids eat this with chopsticks, as does my husband who grew up in Hawaii and is proficient at eating sushi, rice, and all manner of Asian food with chopsticks. I prefer a spoon so I don't miss a drop of the delicious sauce. And I'm no good with chopsticks. At all.