We all have the capacity to be both sweet and sour, wouldn't you say? Everyone has his or her moment of being considerate and selfless and kind, and there are times when each of us feels grumpy and grim.
Granted, some of us spend more time on one end of the spectrum than the other, but I think that it's just human nature to exhibit some of each behavior every now and then. (Let's just do our best to keep it on the sweet side, mmmkay? That's a good New Year's resolution right there.)
Sweet and sour chicken is aptly named--brown sugar and ketchup deliver the sweetness, vinegar and soy sauce give that sour punch, and orange and pineapple juices provide a tangy twist. While it does tingle the taste buds detecting both, the resulting dish in this particular case is a bit more sweet than sour (like some people)(hopefully myself included). Adjust accordingly if supremely sour is more your speed.
This recipe comes from an outstanding cookbook: The Southern Living Community Cookbookby Sheri Castle. This book brings together the best hometown cooks, recipes, and stories culled from 50 years of reader-submitted recipes, as well as dishes from cherished community cookbooks and notable Southern chefs and food writers.
With the knowledge that a memorable Southern cookbook holds both good food and a good read, The Southern Living Community Cookbookis the equivalent of a brimming recipe box plus the scribbled notes and whispered secrets that cover the tips, advice, and stories that a generous cook shares with family members, friends, and neighbors. There are recipes I already know and love--ambrosia, banana pudding, and hummingbird cake, for example--and many I intend to test soon, like chiles rellenos squares, banana cobbler with streusel topping, and cream of peanut soup.
You can't go wrong with this dish, and you can't go wrong with this cookbook. If you'd like a chance to win a copy of what is definitely one of the best and most useful cookbooks in my collection, leave a comment on this post telling me your resolution for the new year, if you even bother doing that sort of thing. I'll close the comments on December 31st and contact the winner on the very first day of 2015! Good luck!
Sweet and (a little bit) Sour Chicken
From The Southern Living Community Cookbook
|from Southern Living|
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided use
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
In a small-medium sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, ketchup, juices, vinegar, and soy sauce and stir. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Whisk together 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened. Reduce heat to low.
Add diced chicken and remaining 2 tablespoons corn starch, salt, and pepper to a large plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat chicken.
Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil over medium heat. Add the chopped pepper and saute briefly, then remove it and add the chicken; sauté until browned and cooked through. Add the peppers, pineapple chunks, and sauce and stir to coat. Serve over warm rice.