Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recipe: Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken and Noodles

sweet sour chicken

I found an amazing Sweet & Sour Chicken and Fried Rice recipe on Pinterest recently. It originally came from Life as a Lofthouse. The chicken looked so yummy and easy that I knew I had to make it. Let me tell you, this chicken is so good! It's so amazingly good, I had one of those moments where you just close your eyes while chewing because it's that good. Putting the recipe together was pretty easy. The part that took the longest was coating and dipping the chicken pieces. Once that was done everything moved along quickly. The fried rice didn't go so well, but I'll get into that disaster shortly.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil

The sweet & sour sauce
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and cut into cubes. Season with salt & pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch to coat, then dip into the eggs. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through.

Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish (I always line mine with greased foil to make clean up easier).

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour evenly over the chicken.

Bake for one hour. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes to coat it with all the sweet & sour goodness.

This is what it looks like when it's finally done. It smells SO good!

And then there's the rice. 

I know the title of this blog post says noodles but it was supposed to be fried rice. Due to a cooking malfunction, things didn't turn out as planned. I'll give you the recipe, then I'll tell you how I messed up.

Fried Rice
3 cups cooked white rice (I used instant brown)
3 tbsp sesame oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup frozen peas & carrots, thawed (I used mixed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the veggies, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. 
Everything was going fine up until this point...or so I thought.

Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Add rice and soy sauce and stir everything together until heated.

So here's my screw up....
I cooked my rice and left it sitting in a pan on the stove until I needed it. I went to move the pan and it was hot. I'd left the burner turned on under the rice for an hour. It looked like this.

In case you can't tell from the first photo, it was dried up and crispy. 

#%@! Now what!??

Luckily I hadn't thrown the eggs in the pan yet. I had about 10 minutes to come up with a plan B. (and I was pissed because I really wanted to make fried rice!) 

Plan B: Throw together whatever ingredients I could find in my cabinet, which consisted of what was left of a bag of egg noodles, 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 2 or 3 tbsp of corn starch, a shot of soy sauce, 1/4 tsp ginger, a few tbsp of sugar. Sorry the picture isn't the greatest  - I mainly took it to show how many egg noodles I used. That's my incredibly tiny work space next to my stove. I've mentioned before that my kitchen is small.

I mixed a cup of chicken broth, ginger and soy sauce, poured the mixture in the pan with the veggies and brought it to a simmer. I mixed the cornstarch with roughly 1/2 cup chicken broth and stirred it into the pan. Continue stirring and simmer until it thickens. Oh, I almost forgot. While this was going on I was frantically cooking egg noodles. Good thing they cook fast.

I tasted the mixture. Blech. Too much soy sauce. I added sugar, tasted again and added more sugar. I think I dumped 3 or 4 teaspoons into it. (by teaspoons I mean the kind you use to stir coffee, not the measuring spoon) When the noodles were ready I drained them, dumped them in the pan and mixed it all up. 

It didn't look half bad when it was all mixed together. 

Let me just say again that the chicken was amazing. I can't say it enough. I might double the recipe the next time I make it because it was that good. We had very little left over after my husband, daughter and I were done eating. I definitely need to increase the amount when my son is home for dinner too.

The noodles were okay but not even close to being amazing. I really wanted the fried rice. I haven't given up on it. The next time I make sweet & sour chicken I'll make the rice (and not burn it!) and will report back on how it came out. 

Click here for a printable version of Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

If you're looking for more recipes check out the others I've posted Pieces of Me Recipes

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