Dive into the deliciousness of Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, made scrumptiously crisp with chicken breasts, cornstarch, and eggs, and drenched in a tangy sauce of sugar, ketchup, a duo of vinegars, and a hint of soy. Say bye to takeout, because homemade just got a major upgrade!
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Growing up, Friday nights were synonymous with takeout nights. But it wasn’t until one fateful evening, when our regular Chinese spot was closed for renovations, that the magic of homemade sweet and sour chicken unveiled itself. Desperation led to creativity, and my grandmother, with her flair for culinary improvisation, decided to put her twist on our favorite takeout dish. As the aromas wafted through our kitchen, our skepticism turned to curiosity. One bite in, and we were converts! Crispy, flavorful, and oh-so-juicy, it became a staple in our home. Today, every time I whip up this recipe, a bit of nostalgia seeps in, making me eternally grateful for that closed sign and my grandma’s culinary genius.
Why You’ll Love Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:
- Homemade Goodness: Ditch the MSG and preservatives; this Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is made with love and wholesome ingredients.
- Double the Crunch: With a genius cornstarch and egg combo, you’re guaranteed a bite that’s crispy on the outside and oh-so-tender inside.
- Flavor Explosion: A harmonious blend of sweet and sour, with the surprise kick of apple cider vinegar.
- Cost-Effective: Skip the takeout prices! This dish delivers gourmet-level flavor without hurting the wallet.
- Perfect for Every Occasion: Whether it’s a regular Tuesday night or a fancy dinner party, this dish is sure to impress.
Ingredient For Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:
- Chicken Breasts: Opt for organic, if possible. It’s all about quality over quantity here.
- Cornstarch: This isn’t just for thickening sauces. Here, it gives our chicken that irresistible crunch.
- Eggs: The golden glue that binds the crispiness. Fresh farm eggs, if you can!
- Vinegars: The dynamic duo! The white vinegar brings the tang while apple cider vinegar adds a fruity note. It’s like a symphony for your taste buds.
- Canola Oil: Perfect for frying. However, feel free to swap with vegetable oil if that’s what’s lurking in your pantry.
- Soy Sauce: Low sodium keeps things flavorful without tipping to the too-salty side.
How To Make Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:
- Step 1: Fire up your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, a moderate temperature for perfectly baking our chicken.
- Step 2: Chicken prepping time! Chop those breasts into bite-sized goodies and season them generously with salt and pepper. Think of it as giving your chicken a flavorful spa treatment.
- Step 3: Here comes the fun part. Take two separate bowls. Fill one with cornstarch and the other with those glorious beaten eggs. Now, pamper your chicken: dip in cornstarch first, then give them an eggy bath.
- Step 4: Over medium-high heat, heat your canola oil in a skillet. Once it’s hot enough, in goes the chicken! Fry them until they achieve a sun-kissed tan. Once done, let them rest in a cozy 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
- Step 5: The sauce saga begins. Grab a mixing bowl and whisk together the sugar, ketchup, both vinegars, soy sauce, and garlic salt. Once harmoniously combined, pour this luscious mixture over your chicken.
- Step 6: Patience is key. Bake your chicken for an hour, giving them a little stir every 15 minutes to ensure they’re all evenly coated and soaking in that marvelous sauce.
Leftovers? No problem! Store your Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken in an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. They’ll be good for about 3-4 days. Craving them later? Reheat in the oven or microwave, and it’s like a trip down delicious memory lane.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Vegetarian Option: Swap out chicken with firm tofu or cauliflower florets for a plant-based treat.
- Gluten-Free: Replace soy sauce with tamari.
- Less Sugar: Reduce sugar or try using honey or maple syrup as natural sweeteners.
- Spice It Up: Add a dash of red pepper flakes or a splash of sriracha to the sauce for a fiery kick.
- Oil Swap: Vegetable or olive oil can be used in place of canola oil for frying.
P.S: Remember, every time a takeout craving hits, think of this recipe and give your wallet (and taste buds) the treat they truly deserve!
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper adjusted to preference
- 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch
- 3 eggs thoroughly beaten
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- Initiate the preheating process of the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Commence the preparation of the chicken breasts by cutting them into uniformly sized pieces. Subsequently, season the pieces with the designated amounts of salt and pepper.
- Arrange two bowls. In the first, place the cornstarch, and in the second, deposit the beaten eggs. Systematically, immerse each chicken piece first into the cornstarch ensuring full coverage and then into the egg mixture, ensuring a complete coating.
- Heat the canola oil in a skillet, setting the burner to medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches the desired temperature, introduce the chicken pieces, ensuring each side achieves a golden brown hue. Once completed, transfer the chicken pieces to a pre-greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
- In a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl, amalgamate the granulated sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt to produce the sauce. Once blended, dispense the sauce uniformly over the chicken pieces in the baking dish.
- Position the baking dish in the preheated oven and allow the chicken to bake for 1 hour. Throughout the baking process, every 15 minutes, gently stir the chicken pieces to ensure that the sauce is consistently distributed.