I love Chinese take-out but isn’t it just that much better when you make it at home? I do love all the different kinds of fried Chinese chicken but I prefer not to eat fried foods very often so I’ve started making lighter versions of the classics that aren’t deep fried in oil. Instead they are sautéed in small amounts of oil and I also work to cut back on the sugars in the sauces. This Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken is the perfect example that lighter versions of Chinese take-out can be just as good as the calorie heavy, high fat versions! It’s dredged in a egg and cornstarch mixture before it’s cooked which gives it a light crust and helps the sauce stick. It’s packed with veggies and fruit to make it healthier and of course you’ll get plenty of protein from the chicken. Who could resist this healthier take on sweet and sour chicken? It has just the right amount of sweet and tart to it and it will leave you craving more! This is my idea of a delicious weeknight dinner my whole family can enjoy!
Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken
Yield: 4 - 5 servings
- 1/2 tsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp peeled , minced ginger
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chicken broth , divided
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast , diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 large egg whites
- Salt and white or black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 bell peppers , diced into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 small yellow onion , diced into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks (drain if using canned)
For the sauce:
Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp chicken broth with 1 Tbsp cornstarch, pour into sauce mixture. Return to heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and allow to boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the chicken:
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch, egg whites, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until well blended and slightly frothy. Add in chicken and toss to evenly coat. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken (work to space evenly apart) and cook, turning pieces occasionally, until cooked through and outsides are golden brown, about 7 minutes (reduce heat slightly to medium heat as needed). Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining 1 Tbsp oil and chicken.
For the veggie mixture:
While the chicken is cooking, in a large skillet heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onions and saute until tender, about 6 - 8 minutes, adding in pineapple during last minute.
Return chicken on plate to saute pan with chicken. Add veggie mixture and sauce to chicken. Toss to evenly coat. Serve warm over white or brown rice.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy