It’s one of our favorite meals to eat out – sweet and sour chicken. Whenever we’re at our favorite Chinese food restaurant, one of us always orders this dish. There’s something about that contrast of crunchy with sweet that is just so comforting and delicious. As much as we love the convenience of eating out, there’s something to be said about recreating our favorite restaurant dishes right in the comfort of our own kitchen. We’ve found a great at-home version of this classic menu item, an easy sweet n’ sour chicken that rivals what we get when we eat out.
The sauce is super important here, as it’s the glue that brings all elements of the dish together. We whisk several different ingredients together, including brown sugar and honey along with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Sweet and sour are a lovely combination, but so too is sweet and heat, so for that reason we occasionally like to use a chili pepper, seeded and diced, to bring a little kick into each bite of the dish. Of course, feel free to skip the heat if it’s too much for your hungry bunch. We like to use diced red bell pepper too.
A tender chicken breast comes from a light batter that coats the chicken, locking in moisture. We fry it to perfection then give it a few minutes to rest. While the chicken rests, we work on that all-important sweet n’ sour sauce. As this warms and thickens in the pan, we start to salivate as the kitchen fills with the most amazing aromas. Just before we’re ready to serve, we put the chicken back into the skillet with the sauce and allow everything just a few more minutes together before we grab a plate and get ready to enjoy a wonderful meal. A scoop of rice topped sweet and sour chicken and extra sauce drizzled over the top is pure perfection. For nights when we can’t go out our favorite restaurant, a meal like this is the next best thing.