Sweet and sour chicken is a perennial favorite in many households. There is something about the tender chicken pieces with a golden brown crust, covered with the sweet and tangy flavors of the sauce, that is irresistible. It’s one of the most popular Chinese-American dishes ordered; sweet and sour chicken take out is positively an American classic.
Every once in a while I get an undeniable craving for sweet and sour chicken, but where I live it’s impossible to order delivery from a local restaurant. One of the downsides of living on a houseboat is that NO ONE delivers ready-made food down here on the docks. I can’t really blame them, especially in the winter when the docks are quite slippery. Turns out that it’s a good thing that I can’t order out for sweet and sour chicken. Driven by my intense craving, I was forced to look for a sweet and sour chicken recipe that I could make at home. After trying several recipes (and experiencing several disasters) I have devised this variation on a popular sweet and sour recipe that is easy and just as delicious as the dish made in Chinese restaurants. This sweet and sour chicken dish is lighter and healthier than the restaurant version; truly a bonus that helps relieve the guilt (a little.) Using Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic and Instantly Fresh Red Onion greatly reduces the preparation time usually required to prepare this dish. These freeze-dried herbs are pungent; they add even more flavor than fresh! The addition of pre-sliced carrot chips, which I happened to have on hand, is another great time saver.
I used red, yellow and orange peppers, snap peas and sliced carrots for this meal but you could add in any number of vegetables. I have used pineapple, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower in the past, but you can get creative and add any vegetable (or fruit) that you think would be a good combination to those tender bites of chicken.
This night I paired the ready-to-eat sweet and sour chicken with pan-fried yakisoba noodles; but usually we have it with brown rice (try it with basmati brown rice!) I have served it with fried rice and white rice as well. Sometimes I don’t add the vegetables but instead steam broccoli, carrots and snap peas and serve them on the side. This is one of those dishes that invite you to get creative! My husband and I think this dish is something really special; a miracle of a dish, even. It’s a breeze to make and much healthier than the restaurant version. The delicious sweet and sour sauce brings everything together and the Litehouse freeze-dried herbs add rich garlicky and onion flavors that are truly delectable. This sweet and sour dish is not only phenomenally delicious; it is literally ready to eat in the same amount of time it would take for the Chinese food delivery guy to deliver. This Sweet and Sour Chicken with Vegetables recipe will satisfy even the most discriminating sweet and sour food craving!