A Fortunate Happenstance
You may call me “easily amused” but I do enjoy looking at recipes in old cookbooks, new cookbooks, online and in magazines. Hoping to avoid getting into a rut, I love to try new recipes and usually do so at least once a week and sometimes more often than that! Perusing an old cookbook this week I discovered a recipe for Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken that I had not tried before – it sounded delicious plus all the ingredients were on hand.
Rendered moist, juicy and tender by the sauce, Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken is cooked in a sauce of pineapple juice, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and brown sugar spiced with ginger, black pepper and garlic. After 30 minutes of baking, the chicken is topped with crushed pineapple, basted again with this wonderful sauce and returned to the oven for an additional 25 minutes.
Recipe for Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
- 1 (8.5 oz.) can crushed pineapple
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Place chicken pieces into a greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Set aside pineapple to use later in the recipe.
- Combine cornstarch, reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and pepper in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and bubbles. Pour over chicken in baking dish.
- Bake at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes, basting several times.
- Turn chicken, spread pineapple over top of each breast and spoon sauce from the baking dish over the top of each breast.
- Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until chicken is tender.
- Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken is great over your favorite rice or pasta, accompanied with a vegetable or salad.
The original recipe for Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken contained 3/4 cup sugar which I cut down by 1/4 cup. Instead of white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup honey were used and worked beautifully in this sauce.
The crushed pineapple is added to each chicken breast after the dish has baked for 30 minutes. (The above photo was taken at the end of the total cooking time.)
The original recipe called for vinegar but I had some rice vinegar on hand so I used it. I believe the recipe would be just as good with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
The sauce was so thick and tasty that I plan to try it on other meats and fish. I can envision salmon grilled in this sauce!
Succulent Sweet and Sour Chicken is a dish I would deem as “company worthy!” Serving suggestions are rice or pasta and a vegetable or salad.
In conclusion, I feel like I experienced some “serendipity” when I discovered this wonderful chicken recipe! Horace Walpole coined the term “serendipity” in 1754 and he defined it as “fortunate happenstance” or a “pleasant surprise.” I’ve also heard “happy accident” as a way to describe “serendipity.”
If you enjoy this recipe, you would probably also like Astounding Apricot Almond Chicken, another recent Silver Foodie post.
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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