My Healthier Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is a delicious, healthier version of the classic dish – sweet and sour chicken. Make at home, way better than a takeaway and much healthier too.
Sweet and Sour chicken is one of my favourite Chinese dishes, along with Peking duck, and Crispy Chilli Beef. However, I do tend to regret getting a takeaway when I’m sat on the sofa later feeling overly full, thirsty and generally unhealthy.
So this is my way of doing things at home. I’m not denying it – it’s still got a bit of naughtiness in there, so it hasn’t made my skinny eats category but this is way better than your average Chinese takeout. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well here we go:
- The chicken is covered in a light crispy coating that’s baked not fried (and I don’t mean it’s fried for a couple of minutes first, and then finished off in the oven – this chicken is baked from the start)
- It’s got a good portion of your 5 a day – peppers, onions, sugar snap peas and loads of pineapple
- I’ve only used olive oil in the cooking and chicken coating
- It’s ready in less than half an hour – that’s probably less time then it takes to order your takeaway and get it delivered!
- It’s seriously tasty!!
I’ve used chicken thighs rather than breast meat, as it’s much more moist and tender, and it lends itself well to being baked in the oven in small pieces.
I like to cook the veg and sauce in a pan on the hob and then pour it over the chicken and place it back in the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking. This means the chicken is thoroughly coated in the tasty sauce, and I can then put the baking dish straight on the table for everyone to help themselves.
If you want to keep your chicken as crisp as possible, then i’d suggest letting the chicken cook in the oven for the full 20 minutes and serving the veg and sauce on the side so you can pour it on right before eating. Serve with some boiled rice or noodles and you’ve got a great tasting, well balanced meal for the whole family!
I’m bringing this recipe to share with my fellow blogging friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #30. Every Friday we all get together to share our latest recipes. Check it out 🙂
Healthier Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe:
Healthier Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 500 g chicken thigh fillets
- 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Vegetables and sauce:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped/crushed
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped finely
- 9 tbsp tomato ketchup check it's a gluten free version if you're gluten intolerant
- 2 tbsp malt vinegar replace with cider vinegar for gluten free
- 5 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
- 475 g can of pineapple chunks in juice
- 150 g sugar snap peas
- Boiled rice or noodles
- Chopped spring onions/scallions
- Pre-heat your oven to 190c. Put a large baking dish in the oven to warm up. Take your chicken thigh fillets, trim off the excess fat and cut into bite sized chunks. Put to one side. In a medium sized bowl, mix the cornflour, salt, pepper, garlic salt and paprika. Pour your olive oil in another medium sized bowl. Place the chicken in the bowl with the cornflour, and mix, ensuring every piece of chicken is completely covered. Scoop out the chicken, and put it into the bowl with the olive oil in. Toss gently in the olive oil. Pour any leftover cornflour mixture onto the chicken, and mix it all up. You should end up with the chicken pieces looking well coated and a bit sticky. Carefully take your dish out of the oven and place the chicken into the dish in a single layer. Try not to bunch the chicken together. The more room it has, the more crispy it will get. Place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking, make your sauce. Add the olive oil to a medium sized pan, heat it up on a medium-to-high heat and add in the onions. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onions start to go translucent. Add the peppers and cook for a further minute. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the tomato ketchup, vinegar, dark brown sugar, and the tinned pineapple (including the juice) and stir. Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat and let it bubble (stirring every so often) and thicken until your chicken is ready. Once the chicken is ready, add the sugar snap peas to the pan and give it a quick stir.
- Take the chicken out of the oven, and pour over the vegetables and sauce and stir gently. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes take out of the oven and serve topped with spring onions/scallions. Also, serve with rice or noodles.