Monday, September 15, 2008

Sydney's Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe.

I just went back (per the advice of both Mary-Leah and Marcia) and started re-reading my blog from the beginning. Wow. What a cool thing to do. I knew when I started this blog that I would be glad I did, as I would have something to look back on for details of our experience. The mind tends to lose details the further we get from experiences. What a trip though. Our lives really have changes so much in just 6 short months. I read back through the trip here and the first few weeks of being here and I can literally feel my face flush and my body tense up remember the intense fear and anxiety I had when we were first here.

I can so quickly remember as I read about it, the way I felt over certain things, and the harder times I purposely left out of my blog, trying to keep a happy face about the very difficult culture shock I was facing. It's amazing. I've been sitting here for an hour reading and I've only gotten through April! Fun stuff. I should have done this a long time ago.

Anyway, I initially got back on this blog to post a recipe because I have had lots of email reqests for some of my favorite recipes from people and I keep forgetting to post some of them. So I will start with my favorite meal... my soon-to-be FAMOUS Sweet and Sour Chicken!

This is what I have decided are the instructions because I make it without measuring anything and there always seems to be "a little more" of one thing or another needed, but here we go. Give it a try!

Sydney's Sweet and Sour Chicken:

1 pound of chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour, and a little salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup sliced white or yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced green bell pepper
1/2 cup slices red bell pepper
(throw in yellow pepper if you like it as well... I usually use any combination of bell peppers that I have on-hand)
one medium carrot cut into small pieces (or grated... I tried this last time and it was really good too)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or chopped, whatever)
1 cup pineapple chunks (I use fresh since it's so easy to come by here, but canned are fine too)1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar (I use balsamic because I love it so much)
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger root (either fresh or powdered... I tried powdered last time and it was still just as good)

1) put the cut up chicken into a large ziplock bag with the flour (can add some salt and pepper to taste, I'd say 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each), shake it up well to coat.
2) In about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the chicken until slightly brown (it will cook a little longer in the sauce so don't worry if it is still slightly pink inside.
3) remove the chicken and set it aside, rinse pan, add about one more tablespoon of olive oil and sauce the vegetables (onion, peppers, carrot, garlic)
4) add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, add the chicken back to the mixture and bring to a boil until chicken is cooked through and flavors have had a chance to blend well... about ten minutes.
5) I add about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of ketchup to give it that red color you typically see at Chinese restaurants. It is purely cosmetic, but you can also use it to balance the flavors if you are having a hard time making it taste right... be sure to test the flavor before you serve. Add a little more soy, brown sugar, or even ketchup to balance. Remember that brown sugar is your best friend here... it is perfect at making too much soy more mild tasting.

Serve over brown rice.



  1. You have left my mouth watering but it's too late for me to eat anything too "heavy" this late! But, I will definitely try this as I have some chicken in the freezer and it will make a nice lunch for Papa and I. You'll have to make it for us when we come over! You are going to be a wonderful cook when you come back home after learning all these ways to cook things differently! Good for you!! We'll have to have a "cook off" someday...Love you ! Mimi and Papa

  2. Yeah right! I'm still obsessed with the way you make everything... just yesterday I told Stu I needed to email you to ask about your recipe for Deviled Eggs! haha. I can't WAIT for you to come though and I will definitely do some cookin'! :)