Baked sweet and sour chicken
You might ask why you’d bother of going to the effort of making your own sweet and sour chicken at home when you can simply pick up the phone, call your local Chinese takeout and have it delivered in less than an hour.
Firstly, the home-made version is so much healthier than the take out – no msg to be had and it hasn’t been deep-fried to within an inch of its life. Secondly, it’s a trillion times tastier, gone is the inch thick batter and the overwhelming ‘purse your lips together’ tang of vinegar that seems to obliterate all the other flavours. This version is punchy yet delicate and the crunchy coating is just right. I promise you that you’ll never go back to takeout again!
1kg chicken breasts (cut into bite sized chunks)
1/2 cup cornflour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the sweet and sour sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 200˚C. Lightly oil a nonstick baking dish. Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder to make the sauce. After whisking together, set aside for later.
Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks, place in a mixing bowl then season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the cornflour and gently toss to combine.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and use a fork to whisk them together. Start dipping each of the flour coated chicken pieces into the egg mixture one by one.
Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
Add the browned chicken to the baking dish and top with the sweet and sour sauce. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes or so to evenly coat the chicken.
After an hour, remove from the oven and serve over steamed white rice with a generous helping of sliced spring onions thrown over the top.