First of all, No. This is not a recipe for the sweet and sour chicken you get at your local Chinese restaurant. It is better.
It is also easier and healthier, as it is a one-pot meal that does not involve deep-frying.
This recipe comes via my mom, via a Southern Living from a long, long time ago—I’m thinking sometime in the ‘90s, back when the whole low-fat cooking craze began because that’s basically all the Southern Living recipe description talks about, how it’s so low in fat! Because there’s no chicken skin! Cooking spray instead of oil!
Thankfully they don’t go so far as to call for chicken breasts since chicken breasts are just terrible. The only thing chicken breasts should be used for is chicken salad. End of story.
In spite of having just about zero fat in it, it still tastes delicious. My mom’s been making it for years—possibly going on decades—and once I started eating/cooking chicken again it was one of the first recipes I asked for.
The only qualm I have about it is that it calls for a bottle of Old Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing and—cheapskate that I am—I’d rather try to make it myself especially seeing as it’s basically water, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar and spices. Especially since it can be hard to find sometimes.
I’ve been waiting probably a year to share this recipe with you because before I did I wanted to test it out with brown rice and try making my own dressing. Neither of those things has happened yet so rather than make you wait another year I’ll just give you the recipe and let you do those experiments, if you so desire.
The original recipe calls for using cooking spray instead of regular oil, but that is just too ‘low-fat craze!’ for me, so I don’t bother. It also calls for garnishing with green onions before serving but I don’t because I usually don’t have them on hand and also I’m lazy.
Serve with a green salad or steamed veggie on the side.Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice Recipe adapted from Southern Living 4 Tablespoons olive oil 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4-6 thighs) 1 onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 cup chicken stock 1 bottle (8oz.) Old Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing 1 cup white rice
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over both sides of chicken thighs and then place in pot. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, then remove from the pot and set aside.
Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, onion and bell pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the rice, broth, and dressing and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and place the chicken thighs back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through and rice is done.