Sweet and Sour Chicken
This classic dish is one of the most popular of all Chinese-American culinary creations
Prep Time: prep 30 mins, plus standing
Cooking Time: cook 25 mins
Serves: makes 4 servings
For the batter
- 3 / 4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 / 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 / 8 tsp salt
- 1 cup lager beer
For the sauce
- 1 / 2 cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp honey
- one 3 / 4 in (2cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
- 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp cold water
For the main dish
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1in (2.5cm) pieces
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1 / 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts or whole blanched almonds
- 1 / 2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 8 scallions, cut into 1in (2.5cm) lengths
- 1 / 2 cup cubed fresh or drained canned pineapple
- To make the batter, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, add 1/2 cup of the beer, and whisk, gradually adding the remaining beer. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- To make the sauce, stir the stock, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, honey, and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until just thickened. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Fill a wok halfway with oil. Heat to 350°F (180°C). Place the flour in a bowl. In batches, toss the chicken in the flour, then coat in the batter and add to the hot oil. Deep-fry about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and keep warm in the oven.
- Pour all but 2 tbsp oil from the wok and return to high heat. Add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Transfer to the baking sheet. Add the red pepper to the oil and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the scallions and pineapple and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Pour the sauce into the wok, add the chicken and stir until coated. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with cashews, and serve hot.
- prep 30 mins, plus standing; cook 25 mins
Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright Â© 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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