SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN, PEPPER, AND PINEAPPLE STIR FRY

3 cups sushi rice (or any plain rice)

6 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large raw boneless chicken breasts (about 2-pounds)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¾ cup corn starch + 1 tablespoon (for sauce)

1 large onion, cut into thin strips

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1” piece gingerroot, chopped

2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips

1 small green pepper, cut into thin strips

1, 20-ounce can pineapple chunks

½ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

⅓ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup milk

¼ cup basil, chopped

Optional – 1 cup honey roasted peanuts or cashews

Make sushi rice according to package directions and set aside.

In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the 3 tablespoon of the peanut and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil.  Slice chicken breast into thin strips across the grain of the meat.  Season the meat with 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.  Put the corn starch into a large ziplock bag and add half the chicken.  Shake to coat and add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. Brown about 1 minute per side until just cooked through and remove from pan.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add remaining oils to the pan. Sauté onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers over medium heat until the peppers are tender and fragrant.  Add pineapple (including the juices), orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and remaining teaspoon salt to the pan and cook until sauce is reduced by ⅓.  Combine remaining 1 tablespoon corn starch in a small bowl with milk and whisk until smooth.  Add to the pan and stir as sauce thickens.  Add chicken back to the pan and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over sushi rice and garnish with basil (and chopped nuts if desired).

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