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Sweet and Sour Chicken In A Hurry

We had been out shopping for a better portion of the day and needed something quick. We hadn’t planned on anything in advance. When we got home, She Who Must Be Obeyed informed me I was making boneless skinless chicken breasts for supper.

I looked in the fridge and we had some broccoli, peppers and mushrooms. A stir fry was the obvious choice so I started putting a sweet and sour chicken stir fry together. I had no recipe in mind, just past experience. So, if you want to adjust this recipe, you won’t be hurting my feelings. For example, change the vegetables to what you have on hand, add less sugar or more vinegar. Whatever you want.

The Ingredients I used are:

• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 250 m1/1 cup chopped broccoli
• 125 m1/1/2 cup chopped red pepper
• 250 m1/1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1 can (398 ml/14 oz) pineapple chunks
• 50 ml/1/4 cup light soy sauce
• 50 ml/1/4 cup sherry (I used cooking sherry)
• 25 ml/2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 25 ml/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 2 ml/1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 2 ml/1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder (this is optional if you don’t have it on hand)
• 30 ml/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 50 ml/1/4 cup water

I find it is a lot easier to use the practice of “mis en place” when doing a stir fry. It is just a snooty Chef’s term for having all the ingredients measured and prepared in advance.

I cut the chicken into cubes. Cut the vegetables up. I poured the juice off the pineapple chunks into a 500 ml/2 cup measure. I added the soy sauce, sherry, sugar, vinegar, ginger, and five spice to the pineapple juice to make the sauce. I put the cornstarch and water in a bowl.

The advantage of doing it this way is that you can just toss each ingredient in as you stir fry without measuring it. Also, you can do this well in advance. When it comes time to cook dinner, it will only take a few minutes from start to serving.

I heated my wok with the oil in it at a high temperature until there are wisps of smoke from the oil. I stir fried the chicken until cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. I tossed in the peppers and broccoli. I stir fried for about 2 minutes. I added the pineapple chunks and mushrooms and stir fried until the mushrooms were just cooked.

I added the sauce mixture and stir fried for a minute. I added the cornstarch/water mixture and stir fried until the sauce is boiling and thick. I served it with plain steamed rice and almond slivers sprinkled on top.

This was tasty for a spur of the moment meal. Nice sweet and sour, an interesting taste from the pineapple and a good texture on the vegetables. I will make it again. I thought it would be better with a few chili flakes but I was informed I was wrong. I hate it when that happens.

The Old Fat Guy

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