Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fresh Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken

I learned to make this tasty dish when I lived in Hawaii. I make it in a wok, but it's also great cooked in an electric skillet, stove top, or on the grill outside. When I cook with my wok, I like to cook in stages, that way the wok doesn't cool down too much. When you're cooking in a wok you want to cook the food quickly at a high temperature, so cut the food into large, bit sized pieces before cooking and don't over crowd the pan.

This dish is versatile (and gluten free), so add or subtract the foods that you do or don't like. For instance, for a vegetarian meal, subtract the chicken and add extra veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, bok chow, mushrooms, snow peas, or any that you prefer.

14 oz Chicken Tenders (breast or boneless thighs also work well)
1 T Onion - chopped
2 cloves Garlic - smashed
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
3 T Soy Sauce
1/4 Serrano Pepper
Splash of Water

1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
1 T Brown Sugar
1 T Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 T Soy Sauce
1/4 t Tomato Paste
1 T Cornstarch

5 Cloves of Garlic (split) 2 cloves sliced (optional) and 3 chopped
2 small or 1 large Carrot -sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper - diced
Serrano Pepper - very thinly sliced or finely chopped (optional)
1/2 Onion - diced
2 Roma Tomatoes - diced (seeds removed)
1/ fresh Pineapple - diced (skin/rind and core removed)

You'll also need cooking oil and a 1/4 cup of chicken stock or a combination of stock and sweet white wine.

To start, mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a dish with the chicken. Make sure the chicken is completely covered by the liquid. Cover and set the chicken aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the slury ingredients, except for the cornstarch. The starch will be added to it later. Cover the dish and place it in the fridge until needed.

Put a small amount of oil in a hot wok.

Remove chicken from the liquid marinade and carefully place it in the hot pan. Cook sirring constantly, until the chicken is fully cooked. Then, set the chicken aside and lightly cover it with foil.

Add the two sliced garlic cloves to your wok. Stir and cook them until they are brown and a little crispy. Then, remove the garlic and place it with the cooked chicken. (I do this because Tony and I love garlic and this adds another level of garlic flavor and texture to the dish. If your family or guest aren't as big of fans of the cloves as we are, just skip this step.)

Put more oil in the wok, about a tablespoon. When it's hot, add the onion and peppers to the pan. Stir and cook the veggies for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots and chopped garlic to the hot wok and cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato and pineapple. Let this cook for a minute.

Return the chicken and garlic to the wok. If you cooked it whole, use your Chinese Spatula to break the chicken up into different sized pieces. (I like to do this so that small bits of the chicken shred off into the sauce.)

Stir in the stock and wine, if using. Bring this up to a boil.

Retrieve the liquid for the slury from the fridge and whisk the cornstarch into it.

Add your slury to the chicken and veggies.

Reduce the heat and let everything come together in the pan for a couple of minutes. Don't let the sauce boil again after you add the cornstarch slury or it will break down instead of thickening.

Serve over rice. E  Ľai ka-kou

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