Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

by Caitlyn Stace

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir FryIs tonight a comfort food night? Here's one of my "go-to" meals when I need something warm and filling without a lot of fuss.

You'll probably have the ingredients for this basic sweet and sour sauce already on hand and you'll love that you can get creative with the vegetables.

Chop up any raw veggies hanging out in the fridge and toss them in the stir-fry. It's an easy way to use veggies that might be just about peaking.

In 30 minutes, you'll have a better-than-takeout meal and one that's much healthier, too!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• 1/2 green pepper, sliced
• 1/2 red pepper, sliced
• 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
• 3 carrots, sliced in sticks
• 2 cups broccoli flowerettes
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 5 tablespoons peanut oil
• 1 can juice-packed pineapple, drained; reserve juice.

Sauce:
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon vinegar
• 1 tablespoon tomato puree
• 1 tablespoon sherry or another tablespoon pineapple juice
• 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 6 tablespoons pineapple juice
• 1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

Cut the chicken into cubes or strips. Marinate for 20 minutes in the soy sauce. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch mixture, soy sauce, tomato puree, sherry and ginger. Set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a wok and stir-fry the chicken strips until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked, 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Saute the vegetables, starting with the onion and garlic. Add the carrots and celery. Cover the wok and steam for 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cover for an additional two minutes.

Add the chicken, pineapple chunks and sauce to the vegetables. Let cook 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Serve over brown rice or for a lower carbohydrate option, serve over thinly sliced cabbage.

Cook's Note

Stir-frying: cooking of small cuts of ingredients in oil over intense heat.

Stir-frying uses less oil than other frying methods, the vegetables retain more vitamins and minerals, you can use up little dabs of this and that, the meal's ready in a jiffy and the easy, one-pan clean-up cinches the deal. Now, if you just owned a wok.

You can still enjoy the fun and benefits of preparing Oriental foods. Any recipe that can be cooked in a wok can also be prepared in a large, heavy skillet with deep sides or in an electric skillet.

Just keep the food moving, so all parts of the food come in contact with the hottest part of the pan, cooking quickly and evenly.

What's in your favorite stir-fry recipe?