Cleanish Sweet and Sour Chicken

Like the rest of us on Pinterest, I often pin things and never go back to them.  But this recipe kept popping up and everyone was commenting how awesome it was.

Awesome and easy.  My two favorite things when it comes to cooking.   And it looks so beautiful and succulent in this photo.

Don't you think?  Admit it, that's why you pinned it in the first place!

Funny thing is, I don't even like Sweet and Sour Chicken.  But, I'm trying to be open to new things, new experiences, etc., so I decided to try it.

I loved it.  (Which is critically important, because if I don't love it, no one else will get to even try it! I have straight up thrown a whole meal in the trash if it didn't taste right to me!)  The girls loved it.  My husband, Mike, . . . not so much.  In fairness to him, he told me in advance he didn't like sweet and sour chicken, but it was already on my menu for the day, so it's what got cooked.  He "said" he tasted a bite of Nikki's and didn't like it.  I did not see "said bite" and therefore doubt him.

But everyone else loved it.  You decide for yourselves.

I modified the recipe to be clean, or cleanish.  My ketchup (HUNTS) did not contain high fructose corn syrup.  Just tomatoes, water, sugar and salt.  Since my recipe only had 2 tablespoons of ketchup in it, I decided I'd risk that unclean sugar. :)

Here's the recipe.

The Chicken:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

The Sauce:

1/2 cup honey
4 tbs ketchup (I used Hunts)
1/2 cup (minus 4 tbsp) distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 

Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and set aside. 

Cut chicken into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the eggs to coat then dip into the cornstarch.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. 

Pour sweet and sour sauce over the chicken. 

Bake for one hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.  (Now, if you're like me at all, you're wondering why you have to turn the chicken so often.  AND you're going to panic about how liquidy this junk looks.  RELAX, the liquid thickens, and the chicken does not get overdone!  You have to bake it for an hour so the liquid thickens.)

A note about the sauce:  It originally called for 3/4 of a cup of sugar.  So when I converted it to honey, I had to remove about 6 tbsp. of liquid from somewhere.  I chose the vinegar.  If you use sugar, then use a full 1/2 cup of vinegar.

 Fried Rice                                                                                             

3 cups cooked brown rice
3 tbs sesame oil (evoo works fine, that's what I used)
¼ cup finely grated carrots
½  small onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

 On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the carrots, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated!   

Note: I changed this recipe considerably.  It called for peas and carrots, which I do not like in my fried rice.  It called for white rice, I used brown.  It called for 1 whole small onion which I thought was too much.  And it called for 2 tsp of minced garlic.  I used 2 and it was TOO MUCH garlic IMHO, so I reduced it to 1 tsp.

I served it with stir fried zucchini and onions and broccoli.  Yummy.

Also, since there are SOOOOOOO many opinions about what is clean or not clean, feel free to modify to your particular clean standards and not judge mine!

And be sure to go by this girl's blog, to check out the original recipe.  It's the unedited version. She calls it "baked" but I couldn't really do that because you actually FRY the chicken before you put it in the oven. :)  But I'm okay if she wants to call it baked.  It's her recipe after all.

All that to say, a couple points to remember when eating "clean."  Clean eating is not calorie free eating.  Clearly, this dish is not calorie free.  If you are working on losing weight, eat an appropriate amount of this food.  It was delicious, so you will want to overeat.  Just saying.

Once you make it and are telling all your friends about how awesome it is, come back and tell me what you think!  I'd love to hear if you make any modifications too!  Change is good.  Make it yours!

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