Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken

My two youngest daughters can be pretty picky when it comes to Asian food.  So, when I first prepared this recipe, I was concerned that they wouldn't really dig it.  Surprisingly (and thankfully), I was wrong. Plates cleaned. "Seconds" requested. This has definitely now become a regular in the JD household. And, it's gotten great reviews from guests who have been over for dinner when we've served this.


Initially, I was really surprised at the method used to yield this style of breaded chicken. It's quite unique and something I hadn't been familiar with in the past. But, it's actually really neat and quite simple.

Although the chicken in this recipe spends the majority of its time in the oven, there is a quick step of flash-frying it in a tiny bit of oil before it ends up in the oven. I'm telling myself, however, that this has to be a tad bit healthier than take-out since it is not completely cooked by way of deep-frying and I get to control the ingredients.

UPDATE 4/9/13:  I have received comments and emails concerning the fact that I present this recipe as something "Chinese."  Yes, I am aware that sweet and sour chicken is more of an American idea of what Chinese cuisine is. But, since it's something here in America that many of our "Chinese" restaurants do serve, I like that I am able to make a version at home that we absolutely love.  (Yes, though ... I am aware that this is not authentic Chinese food.)

Yields 5 - 7 servings

Ingredients:

FOR THE CHICKEN -

3 - 4 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup canola oil

FOR THE SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE -

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or a little more if using garlic powder)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Additional Ingredient -

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Trim and cut chicken into cubes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Place the cornstarch into a gallon-size plastic bag and add all of the chicken cubes into it.  Seal and shake to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large dish or bowl.  Pour beaten egg over the chicken and stir gently to coat.

Heat oil in a large skillet and pan-fry chicken over medium-high heat on both sides until slightly browned - but not cooked through. (Work in two or three batches as necessary so as not to crowd pan while frying.)

Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 or similar size greased baking dish.

Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or whisk (do not add in the sesame seeds).  Pour three-fourths of the sauce evenly over the chicken ... reserving the rest for dipping at time of service. Gently stir to coat.


Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.  During the baking process, you will need to gently stir chicken every 15 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, sprinkle on the sesame seeds and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Watch chicken so that it does not burn.  Stir chicken a couple of times during the final 15 minutes of baking.  Best served with rice or Asian noodles.

NOTE:  Sliced onions and peppers can be added into the baking dish with the chicken, if desired.


12/13/2016: Updated some of the photos and made clarifications to post.


Adapted from Life as a Lofthouse.




56 comments :

  1. Made this last week, was very delicious and will definitely be making again. Agree that this is way better than any sweet and sour chicken tried in any restaurant, especially the chinese restaurants around here (; Thanks for the recipe. Dusti

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    1. So glad it was a hit for you guys, Dusti! I'm planning to make it for dinner this week again (3rd time in 2 weeks). We all love, love, love it! Thanks for posting! ;)

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  2. I made this a few days ago and the hubby and I both agree this was THE BEST sweet and sour chicken we've ever tasted. The sauce alone is to die for, but the chicken just drives you over the cliff! I doubled the sauce and used it over fried rice, so good! We will be making this often, since we both craved it for days after eating it! Thanks for the great recipe, I'll be sharing it with everyone!! :)

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    1. Jayme ... Hi there and thanks for visiting! I'm happy you and the hubby loved the recipe. It is sooooo good, isn't it? I agree that the sauce alone is just amazing! We can't get enough of this dish either! So glad you stopped by! :)
      Angela

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  3. These look so good! Gonna have to head to the store this week and get cooking! :)

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  4. What are the "seeds" in the sauce pictured? I don't see anything in the sauce ingredients that would have them.

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    1. Angela @JoyouslyDomesticMarch 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      I just updated the ingredient list to reflect that crushed red pepper flakes are, also, in the sauce. Thank you for pointing that out. Of course, they can be omitted if you don't want that kick of spice. :)

      Angela

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  5. Great recipe, love sweet and sour chicken or orange chicken. But please don't mention 'Chinese' There is no such thing as sweet and sour in 'real' chinese cooking. Only american-chinese restaurants serve this as chinese food

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    1. Just because something dosent originate in china dosent necesarily mean it isint chinese. Chinese people cook this all over the world in there restraunts even here in New Zealand. So lets not get petty its bloody chinese food mate.

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  6. Would it need the extra 15 minutes if I don't add sesame seeds?

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    1. Angela @JoyouslyDomesticMarch 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Yes, it still needs that additional time to finish baking at that higher temp. :) This is when the coating will turn crunchy!

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  7. This dish is in the oven right now, but I've previewed it. Very good although with all the sugar in it, I don't think I can call it a healthy choice. I needed something completely different tonight and this was it. Thank you. I know we will enjoy it.

    Cheryl, San Francisco

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    1. Cheryl: Yes, it does have a "bit" of sugar in it, doesn't it? I used only about 3/4 of the sauce to actually coat the chicken and some chose to dip into the extra at the table. And, although it may not be considered "healthy," it's a treat to have every now and then. :) Hope your enjoyed it! :)
      Angela

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  8. Just made this dish and this is GREAT!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! This now in regular rotation!!!

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    1. Awesome! So happy that you enjoyed it! :) Thanks!

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  9. Can you use pork also? And pineapple going to make for hubby and the kiddos tonight

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    1. Hi, Sarah. Not sure if you've tried making this with pork yet or not? (I didn't get to your comment until today.) I haven't tried it with pork, but would be interested to know if it turned out. :)

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  10. Kid's loved it and asked for seconds but their dad got there first great recipe

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    1. Wohoo ... so thrilled that you all loved it! My kids went in for seconds, too ... the hubby wasn't home when we had this the first time, so the kiddos got to eat it all up! ;) Thank you for posting you feedback.

      Angela

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  11. I made this a cpl weeks ago and it was AMAZING!!!! My family loved it! I am making it again tonight b/c I have been craving chinese food lately!!

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    1. Isn't this so yummy? I'm so happy that you all enjoyed it! And, thank you for stopping by to leave feedback!
      Angela

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  12. Made this tonight......was FANTASTIC! My husband doesn't like sweet and sour and never has, but he really loved this recipe. He was dipping his Teriyaki chicken in the sauce lol.

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    1. Yeah! So glad you all enjoyed the dish! :) It's one of my favorites!

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  13. can this be made in a crock pot, then thrown in the oven to crisp up for the last 30 -35 minutes???

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    1. I have never tried it that way. Honestly, I am not sure that it would work. I would think that the breading would get super gummy and it would all stick together. If you do try it, let us know please. :)

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  14. Made this last night and we will be making this again! I didnt have the sesame seeds so I left those off but did chop up some green onion for the top. We are thinking of even trying the meat part with other sauce recipes. Glad I found this from pinterest.

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  15. Is it necessary to pan fry or could you just bake in the oven?

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    1. I have never tried to just bake it without flash-frying it first. Frying it real quick kind of helps "set" the breading onto the chicken, so I'm not sure how it would turn out to skip this step. I would think maybe the breading wouldn't crisp up correctly. However, if you do give it a try, please report back and let us know. Thanks! :)

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  16. I've made this twice for my boyfriend and myself, and it's amazing! Now I need to poke around your other recipes :)

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    1. It is delicious, isn't it! So glad you both have enjoyed it! :)

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  17. Angela,

    Planning to try this sometime soon for my family of thirteen. I love your site and your sense of humor!

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    1. Jennie ... Here's hoping you and your crew will enjoy the recipe! And, thank you for visiting and for the kind words. :)

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    2. Um .... yes. Amazing! (Our four kids adopted from Ethiopia LOVED the heat from the pablanos.) I have had so much fun printing recipes and giving my menu a kick in the pants. Needing new ideas. We seem to have similar tastes and I just love how family friendly, but GOOD, the food all looks. Thanks again for all your hard work and for SHARING!

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  18. Oops! And realizing I commented about the Sausage, Potato, Sweet Corn Chowder. Made THAT tonight and it was amazing!

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    1. It's awesome that you're finding recipes here that you all are loving! I do try to offer up family-friendly recipes ... the stuff you see here on Joyously Domestic has all been tried and tested on my own gang here at home. Sure, not everyone loves every dish (we all have picky eater sometimes), but I try not to be too "foo-foo" (LOL) when it comes to what I prepare. I like to cook with ingredients that everyone can easily find in their mainstream grocery stores, as well. I grew up on many of these recipes, too! I hope you continue to enjoy what you find here. I so appreciate you taking time to provide feedback! Blessings!

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  19. Cooking this up now!

    Excited to try it!

    **I visited China 3 times, and HAVE had sweet & sour chicken (and varieties of chicken in sauces) in said Chinese restaurants **ie, Chinese restaurants in China. My uncle is from Hong Kong and loves sweet and sour chicken and never complains when he eats it from Chinese restaurants that it's "not authentically" Chinese!! ;)

    Feel free to call this a "Chinese" food hahahah!!

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    1. Ha! No matter what we all call it, it's darn good, isn't it! Hope you enjoy!

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  20. I made this tonight. Wow it was perfect! Ingredients and technique were right on!

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    1. Awesome, Pia. Happy that you enjoyed it. It is fabulous if I do say so myself - one of our favorites. :)

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  21. Glad to have found your space through Meena... love ur space with all those virtual delicious spread...chicken looks awesome ...mouthwatering here

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  22. Hi, I'm Serena from Italy! How many pounds of boneless chicken breasts? I don't know the weight of 3-4 boneless chicken breasts... Thank you :-)

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    1. Hi, Serena. I would say that it's around 1 1/2 - 2 pounds for this recipe. :)

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    2. Ok, thank you so much! ��

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  23. I found this recipe on pinterest about a year ago and it has become a regular in our dinner rotation. My husband loves it!

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  24. Could I do this without the sesame seeds? My family's not big on them!:) love all your recipes! I made the chicken pasta spin

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    1. Yes. Sesame seeds can be omitted without any issue. :)

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  25. Sorry it cut me off, I made the chicken pasta spinach bake. My family loved it.

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    1. So glad you guys enjoyed the pasta bake. :)

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  26. Looks really good! Few questions... The chicken really needs to bake for an hour? Can l just add the beaten egg to the bag of chicken and corn starch or would that throw things off? For sauce is a clove of garlic turned into a paste ok to use instead of garlic powder?

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    1. Yes, the cooking time is what I follow and it turns out perfect everytime. As far as your other questions, I have only made this as written, so I would not be able to know the results if things that you inquired about are switched up. ;)

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  27. I haven't commented on here yet.. First time.. But this was amazing! We loved it! The sauce is perfect, I followed exactly how it was written. I made it with brown rice and a little butter. Thank you!!

    I cook only for myself and my boyfriend, so we saved some. :) Will make again, 10/10!

    -Summer

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    1. Awesome! Thank you for your feedback and sharing your experience. I so appreciate it.

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  28. I can hardly wait to make this tomorrow~!!!!! I've been looking for a LONG time for just this recipe~! I mean years~! Now looking for fried rice.....checking the rest of your recipes, thank you~!!!!

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