Sweet and Sour Chicken is better than takeout and you can make it at home! Crispy chicken in a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple, peppers and onions makes a delicious dish!
The Sweet and Sour Sauce
This sweet and sour sauce is perfection. It’s tangy, not too sour and sweet. I bet you have everything in your kitchen to make it!
This sauce is made with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, brown and white sugar, minced garlic, cornstarch (for thickening) and some pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple you add to this dish). Just mix it all up and set it aside.
I love my sweet and sour with a bit of extra sauce. This dish has extra sauce so the chicken isn’t dry and so you have extra sauce to go on top of your rice and chicken when serving.
Sweet and Sour Chicken needs crispy breaded chicken!
The chicken is breaded and fried and ends up perfectly crispy for this dish. You can bake or cook your chicken stove top without breading and frying it, but the crispy chicken adds so much flavor. It takes a bit of time to fry it, but it’s worth it!
To make your crispy chicken you will need to toss your chicken pieces in some corn starch.
I just put my chicken pieces in a zip top bag, and add my cornstarch. Seal the bag and give it. Good shake until all of the chicken is covered evenly.
You’ll then take all of your chicken, dip it in the egg and then dip it in your flour.
I have a bowl of whisked egg and then a shallow dish of flour. Dip it in the egg then flour and repeat its all of the chicken.
Frying the Chicken
To get your chicken pieces crispy you will fry them in a little bit of oil. Heat some oil (maybe 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet or pan. Add more oil as needed. Turn the heat medium low to start and then adjust the temperature as needed.
Turn them so all sides get nice and crispy. Cook your chicken pieces in batches.
Peppers, Onions and Pineapple
The chicken and sweet and sour sauce is amazing on its own. But it wouldn’t be a traditional sweet and sour chicken dish without some peppers, onions and of course pineapple.
You will need to cut a red pepper, a green pepper, and 1/2 of a yellow onion (or use the whole thing if you want)
Making Sweet and Sour Chicken
After your have breaded and fried your chicken, and cut up your peppers and onions, you will add some canola oil to a large skillet.
Add the peppers, onions and pineapple and let them cook for 3-5 minutes. They only need to cook until they are crisp tender.
Next pour your sweet and sour sauce into the hot pan and stir the peppers, onion and pineapple in it. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the sauce thicken. The cornstarch in the sauce should help it thicken pretty quick. If it doesn’t you can make a cornstarch slurry (see the recipe notes for details).
Add in your crispy chicken to the thickened sweet and sour sauce. Mix it all around making sure all of the chicken is covered.
Serve over your favorite rice. My favorite rice is Jasmin or Basmati. I love the aromatic flavor that they each have, but white rice or brown rice works great too!
Sweet and Sour Chicken is the perfect balance between sweet and sour! You will want to make this dish tonight!
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Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks *you will use some of the juice for the sauce
- 1 tbsp canola oil *for cooking the peppers, onoin and pineapple
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped *for serving (optional)
- Cooked Rice of your choice for serving *estimated nutritional calculation based on 1 cup of long grain white rice per serving
For Breading the Chicken
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup canola oil * for frying the chicken *this is just an estimate- you can use more or less
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 6 tbsp ketchup
- 6 tbsp soy sauce *low sodium
- 6 tbsp cider vinegar
- 6 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp minced garlic *I love the ease of bottled minced garlic
- 2 tsp pineapple juice or more to taste *use juice from the can
Breading/Frying the Chicken
- In a medium sized bowl, add your eggs and beat them. Set aside.
- In another medium sized bowl, add your flour and salt. Mix well. Set aside.
- Place your chicken pieces in a zip top bag, or large bowl and add your cornstarch to the bag or bowl. Toss your chicken in the cornstarch making sure all of the pieces get covered and make sure they don't stick together.
- Take the cornstarched chicken and drop it into your bowl with the beaten eggs. Toss the chicken in the eggs, making sure the chicken is covered. If you want to work in small batches that is just fine.
- After the chicken pieces are covered in egg, take the chicken and put it in the bowl of flour. Toss your chicken in the flour making sure it gets evenly coated and try and make sure the chicken doesn't stick together.
- Heat your 1/2 cup of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You will know your oil is ready for frying when you sprinkle a bit of water in the hot oil and it sizzles and pops. You can use less or more oil for frying as needed.
- Working in batches fry your chicken pieces, turning them to make sure they are evenly cooked/fried. Check the largest piece of chicken in each batch to make sure the chicken is done. It needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°. Place your cooked chicken on some paper towels or a plate while you cook the rest of the chicken.
- Clean out your large skillet, removing the oil and any chicken bits that are left behind. Add 1 tbsp. of canola oil to your pan and heat it over medium heat. If your oil from frying wasn't too full of chicken breading you can leave 1 tablespoon of that in the pan and use the same oil.
- Add your onions, peppers and pineapple to the oil and let them cook for about 3-5 minutes until they are crisp-tender or to your liking.
- Add your sweet and sour sauce to your pan with the peppers, onions and pineapple and reduce your heat to medium-low. Stir the sauce until it simmers and thickens. . See recipe notes if it doesn't thicken.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add in your cooked, crispy chicken and give it a good stir making sure the chicken is fully covered in the sweet and sour sauce.
- Serve over hot rice and top with chopped green onions (optional).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.