Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken (Gluten Free)

Whenever we go out for Chinese food, Michael ALWAYS orders sweet and sour chicken. And I always get jealous. Since I've been gluten free I've realized that Chinese restaurants are usually a risky choice for dining out. There's just no guarantee that what you are eating is gluten free, no matter how careful you've been in selecting your food. Trust me... I've learned the hard way!

And all this time, I had no idea that you could make that deliciously red, sweet and sour sauce right at home and it was so easy. No gluten. No food coloring. Simple ingredients. Easy. And a winner!

We've made this sweet and sour chicken several times now and I every time I simply smile... wishing I had learned how to make it sooner! Cornstarch is simply a miracle "flour!" It creates that gorgeous, silky red sauce that accompanies the chicken and veggies. And it's even better than the sauce at the Chinese restaurant!

The only thing I changed in making this recipe is how I prep the chicken.
I've never been a fan of frying chicken because it's just so darn messy, and this chicken was no exception! Now, instead of frying, I coat the chicken, spritz it with olive oil and bake it in the oven until it's nice and crispy. Fry or bake? It's up to you... just make this chicken and enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Chicken (Gluten Free)

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2-6 tablespoons oil, for frying chicken
Non-stick cooking spray or olive oil for spritzing on chicken for baking

Coating Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic granules (like Spike)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons GF soy sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup


1. In a medium-sized container with a tight fitting lid, mix all coating ingredients together. Add chicken pieces, replace lid tightly, and shake to coat chicken.

2. To Fry Chicken: Add oil to a large, heavy bottomed skillet and heat oil over medium-hot heat. Drop in coated chicken, and fry until chicken pieces are browned and fully cooked. Drain on paper towels.
To Bake Chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spritz coated chicken with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is crispy and cooked through. (Can make sauce while chicken is baking!)

3. In a large saucepan, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Heat until mixture boils, whisking/stirring constantly. Mixture will appear reddish-gray at first, just continue to whisk until mixture turns a translucent, glassy, bright red color. It may take 5-10 minutes for this to occur. When mixture turns that wonderful shiny bright red color, take it off the heat. Pour over chicken pieces and toss to coat. Serve over cooked rice or pasta with sauteed veggies!


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