I saw this recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken on my friend Colleen's blog a few months ago. Sweet and sour chicken or pork is one of SP's favorite dishes at Chinese restaurants so I was hoping this would be a good make-at-home version.
I have to admit, I kept putting off making this recipe because of the instruction to first fry the chicken and then cook it for an hour in the sauce. That seemed like an awful lot of cook time for a little ol' chicken breast. One of my pet peeves about white meat chicken is that it overcooks so easily and I can't stand dry, tough chicken. Plus SP likes keeping the sauce and chicken separate so the coating on the chicken stays crispy. What to do?
After rereading the recipe a dozen times, it finally dawned on me that I could make the sauce and thicken it on the stovetop, then serve it alongside the chicken for dipping. I doubled the sauce recipe and set it on low on the back burner while I made the rice and prepped the chicken and broccoli. Looking back, I should have known this was going to be a disaster when I had a pot or pan on every burner. That's just too much for me to juggle at once. Between frying the chicken and stir-frying the broccoli with garlic, ginger and soy sauce (absolutely delicious and simple, by the way), I wasn't paying enough attention to the sauce. Somehow it went from thin and glossy to the thickness and consistency of wallpaper paste in a matter of seconds. There was no way for me to salvage it either; it stuck like superglue to absolutely everything it touched. The pot, the spoon, the bowl I put it in to try and save it...cleanup was big fun that night, let me tell you!
The only saving grace was that it tasted great. It was impossible to dip the chicken in the sauce so I kinda smeared it on the chicken pieces as best I could. Regardless, SP absolutely loved this meal. As he was eating he told me I needed to make it again ASAP. The cornstarch coating on the chicken was fantastically crispy and the flavors of the sauce were great. I can only imagine how much better it would be if the sauce was able to coat the chicken.