Sweet and Sour Chicken

20130304_174320A classic dish in the Hoag household, this recipe for sweet and sour chicken is both simple and great for having family and friends over. One reason that I have made it so many times for company is because it can cook on low and for about an hour, allowing me to chat with family without being stuck in the kitchen. The simple ingredients also make it often times something that can be pulled together without even having to go to the store, which is always a bonus.

I found this recipe a couple years ago when I subscribed to the mini Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine. Definitely one of my favorite sources for recipes because they are always great for family dinners, includes fresh and affordable ingredients and creates meals that I can’t wait to take another bite of. I am pretty sure my family agrees because I remember making this recipe for the first time and hearing my Dad proclaim, “This is a keeper.”

The name of my blog plays a particular role in this recipe because I am always guessing on the amounts of soy sauce, corn starch and ketchup. If I do measure, I tend to throw in a tablespoon or two more of everything just because it is all so delicious. Mixing the raw chicken with the soy sauce and corn starch is what makes this recipe so delicious so of course I am going to add a little bit more than the recipe calls for! Here is the full recipe…don’t forget to add the pineapple at the end!! YUM!


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or a combination), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 scallions, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts separated
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss chicken with 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and cornstarch, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, combine remaining soy sauce and cornstarch, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, and 1/2 cup water; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until browned and almost cooked through, 4 minutes; remove.
  3. Add remaining oil to the pan. Add peppers, white parts of scallions, and garlic; cook over medium-high, stirring, until peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  4. Whisk soy sauce mixture; add to pan. Return chicken; add scallion greens. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately over rice, if desired.

Cook’s Note (From Martha Stewart)

Cut the vegetables ahead of time; refrigerate, in separate airtight containers lined with damp paper towels, for up to a day. For sweeter flavor, add up to a cup of cubed pineapple along with the scallion greens in step 4.


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