Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mall Chicken (aka Sweet & Sour Chicken) with fried rice

Hello World! Sorry I haven't posted in almost 2 months. It has been a combination of laziness and trouble getting blogger to upload the photos I use in all of my posts. So here is my post holiday "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Merry Christmas"! I couldn't resist posting this awesome photo that was supposed to be our Christmas card. Unfortunately that didn't come together for me either so I wasn't able to send it out. However, I HAD to show it off, because I am so proud of my mad photography skills and my BFF/Aunt's mad photoshop skills. I got the idea from another blogger (Summertime Designs) that I saw on pinterest. I think we will have to redo this idea next Christmas so I can actually send them out.

Anyhow, that is not what today's post is really about. Today I am going to give the awesomest (Yeah, I know, I made that word up) recipe that I got off of Pinterest (you can check out the original here). I have had this recipe for a few months and the first time I made it we all loved it so much that I made it another night that same week. I didn't post it because I kept seeing it all over Pinterest, but finally I decided that maybe not all of you have seen it, or perhaps you have seen it but been hesitant to try it. I have also made a few tweaks that I think make it better. We call it Mall Chicken, but I think the proper name would be Sweet & Sour Chicken. The reason we call it Mall Chicken is because it tastes just like the chicken you get at the little chinese restaurant in the mall food court, but better. At least that's what my family said. Of course, you know mall chicken wouldn't be complete without fried rice, so I am going to give you that recipe too. Let me just post a little disclaimer here, I know this may not be the healthiest meal on the planet, but it is way better for you than the chemicals & junk food you buy at the mall. The best part about this recipe is that it's practically impossible to mess it up.

Doesn't that look so yummy! I'm still working on my food photography, so hopefully the pic does it justice.

Mall Chicken and Fried Rice

for the chicken you will need: 
6 chicken breasts (I usually just use a 3lb. bag of boneless skinless breasts)
5 eggs beaten
olive oil

for the sauce:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup white vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp garlic salt

for the rice:
3 cups cooked rice (I usually cook it in the rice cooker early in the day and let it sit)
3 tbs oil
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1 small onion chopped
2 tsp minced garlic (or just use garlic powder for a stronger garlic taste)
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

I always start the rice first if I haven't been able to cook it earlier so it will be ready when I am. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees then start on the chicken. You need to trim the chicken and cut it into bite sized chunks. If you can do that the night before or earlier in the day it will save you a ton of time. Heat your oil in a skillet or electric wok. This is where I call on help from my sous chefs (aka one of my daughters). We form an assembly line. I have my daughter dip the chicken in the cornstarch and then into the egg and drop them into the frying pan. 

I then concentrate on browning each piece. In the original recipe she puts all of the chicken into the pan at once and cooks it. I know that would be faster and I have tried it that way, but I promise that if you cook each piece individually it will taste so much better and crispier! You do not need to cook it all the way through, just get the egg nice and golden.

Place the cooked pieces into a baking dish, I use a 1/2 sheet cake pan.

Once you have browned all of the chicken, mix all of your sauce ingredients and pour the sauce over the chicken.

You will need to bake it for one hour, but it is essential that you take it out of the oven every 15 minutes and turn it. Every time you take it out the sauce will be a bit thicker. I usually start my rice during the last 15 minutes of cooking the chicken. Heat your oil in a large skillet or wok and add the peas & carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. I almost always forget to thaw the peas & carrots but they turn out fine anyway.

Push the veggies to the side, add the egg to the other side and scramble.

I usually tilt the pan so the egg will stay on the side and not mix with the veggies until it is cooked because I am OCD like that.

Next add the cooked rice and stir to break it up.

Then add the soy sauce and mix everything well.

I usually finish it at the same time the chicken is done. We serve it up on dessert plates to try to control our portions because it is hard to stop eating this stuff.

I think we have some leftovers in the fridge, but only because I made extra last night for company. I'm going to go eat those now. B'bye.

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