Sweet and sour chicken in Chinese-American restaurants typically arrives with the chicken breaded and fried and then doused in a sticky sweet sauce. I've never understood this custom. If you're going to douse something in sauce, why go to the trouble of breading and frying it? It just makes it soggy when you add the sauce, not to mention adding a lot of unnecessary calories. I do appreciate my fried foods, but it's rather a waste if it's not crispy in my opinion. My goal here was to create a sweet and sour chicken recipe that did not involve all this unnecessary frying. I think it was pretty successful, although in retrospect I would start out by reducing a larger quantity of pineapple juice, so as to concentrate the pineapple flavor a bit more.
1 14.5 oz can of pineapple in juice
2 green peppers, sliced
1 lb snow peas or sugar snap peas (optional)
1.25 lbs chicken thighs, skinless and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp chicken base
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 350.
In a saucepan, combine the pineapple juice from the can, water, sugar, vinegar, paste, cornstarch, soy, ginger and chicken base and heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat oil in a large, oven proof pot or skillet over medium high heat and sear the chicken on all sides. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the pineapple, green peppers, and snow peas.
Bake for another 15 minutes or so, and remove. Serve over white rice.