A More Nuanced Sweet & Sour Chicken

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“I found this about 8 years ago somewhere on the internet, and it was the only recipe I could find that wasn't the cookie-cutter, nuclear-red, ketchup+pineapple variety of sweet and sour. This recipe is also great with pork loin. It's time intensive so I only make it for special occasions, but it is always greeted with excitement. I recommend the brown basmati rice because it is delicious and so much healthier than white rice, and really, you're going to cover it with fried chicken and sugary sauce anyway...”
1hr 10mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse brown rice gently as you bring water to a boil.
  2. Add rice to boiling water.
  3. Cover tightly with lid, set to simmer, and set timer for 45 minutes.
  4. Mix vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Set aside.
  5. After the rice has been cooking for 30 minutes, begin making your chicken.
  6. Heat about 3 cups peanut oil in a large wok, saucepan or deep fryer. It is ready when it almost begins to smoke or at 375°F.
  7. Dip chicken in the egg, and roll in cornstarch.
  8. Add part of the meat, one piece at a time. Stir a little to keep the pieces from sticking together. Do not crowd your pan--cook in batches if you must.
  9. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a baking dish lined with paper towel.
  10. Frying the chicken should take about 15 minutes, and by this time, you will need to remove the rice from the heat. DO NOT OPEN YOUR RICE; just sit it back on a cold burner and let it be for 15 minutes.
  11. Saute garlic briefly in 3 T oil, making sure not to burn the garlic.
  12. Add cayenne pepper, green pepper, green onion, pineapple, and meat. Stir well.
  13. Sprinkle in wine; stir in the sauce mixture you made earlier. Bring mixture to boil.
  14. If the sauce seems too thick, you may add some of the reserved pineapple juice and bring to a boil again. Taste for seasoning and acidity--add more vinegar for more sour, and more pineapple juice or sugar for additional sweetness.
  15. Mix 2t cornstarch with 4t water, and cook until the mixture is somewhat thick and clear.

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