When we were moving and everything was a little crazy, we said we’d treat ourselves to a Chinese on our first night in the house. But, we had chips at lunch and didn’t really fancy it. Then, I had a horrible cold so didn’t want to waste our special housewarming treat when I wouldn’t really enjoy it. We’ve been in for 2 weeks now and still haven’t had our Chinese.
But, all our final bills for the flat have started to arrive, and I seem to get a council tax bill every other day. Which means we’re being super tight! So, I decided to have a go at making a Chinese fakeaway. Husband loves Sweet and Sour and jarred sauces are never the same. It went really well!
I love Sweet and Sour too, but to be honest, I prefer homemade to the takeout version. It’s not something I usually order. The contrasting flavours work incredibly well together. They shouldn’t. But they really really do. I also love how easy it is to add plenty of veg, and that it’s better if you leave it a little crunchy. I really hate overcooked vegetables. We tend to go for peppers, onions and carrots along with pineapple. The issue here, of course, is that the kids try to eat all of the carrots and pineapples before I can even get them into the pan.
Husband’s favourite Chinese takeaway meal is Sweet and Sour Chicken balls. When I say his favourite, I mean the only meal he’s ordered in the four years we’ve been together! Do you do that? I have probably around 5 meals that I go back to and rotate often. But, I like to try new things and combinations too. It’s weird because generally, he does, we eat different things at home all of the time, and cook new meals often. But, when we eat out he’s very “I know what I like!”
This probably means that I should deep fry my chicken. I have done a few times, and after the Crispy Lemon Chicken disaster, it’s actually always worked pretty well. But, I prefer it without batter when I make it myself. I think it’s nicer, healthier and much better for the kids. You could of course deep fry, or air fry (I so want one!!) and use the same sauce recipe.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 4 Chicken breasts - Chopped
- 200 g Pineapple chunks - Drained
- 1 Red pepper - Cut into 1cm chunks
- 1 Green pepper - Cut into 1cm chunks
- 1 Onion - Finely sliced
- 3 Large Carrots - Peeled and sliced
- 65 g Caster sugar
- 30 g Brown sugar
- 100 ml Apple cider vinegar
- 80 ml Ketchup
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 Cloves Garlic - Crushed
- 1 tbsp cooking oil or 5 sprays calorie controlled spray
- For the sauce, in a jug whisk together the sugars, vinegar, ketchup, soy and garlic. Set to one side until needed.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Add the chicken and fry gently for 5 minutes until the outsides have browned.
- Add the vegetables and pineapple and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the sauce, stir and bring to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer, stirring regularly for 30 minutes, until the carrots have softened and the sauce has started to thicken.