Fat Kid Friday: Sweet & Sour Chicken and Saffron Fried Rice
Yay the Fat Kid is back! I have definitely missed posting about all the tasty goings-on around here… there has been LOTS of recipe testing going on in the new kitchen, and hopefully some of that will translate into later blog posts. In particular I have been doing a lot of baking since Mother Nature decided to bless us with some lovely fall-like weather. Soon, my salivating friends, soon!
The other thing I have been doing is playing with the recipes that I was given at my shower. 🙂
I started with the sweet & sour sauce from C’s step-mother Liz, because I’d had it the last time we visited them in Rhode Island, and I know how much C likes it. Good choice! We had it on pork last week, and we liked it so much I decided to make it again last night when we had a craving for Chinese food minus the MSG.
I love recipes like the one Liz gave me because they’re really just a jumping off point for my culinary imagination– a bit of this, a pinch of that, add whatever you like that makes it taste good to you. C has admitted to me that such recipes drive him nuts, because he is very “by the book”. Well, this recipe has that too! I followed it to a T with the pork, and then got a little more adventurous with the chicken. Just keep tasting and adding until you like it, and you’ll be good to go.
As a side dish I decided that “fried” rice would be a great choice, but not just any fried rice– rice that had been flavored with saffron, a delicious (if expensive) herb. It’s a tricky little herb only in that it needs heat to release its flavor, so you’ll want to add it to the water right at the beginning of cooking the rice. Saffron imparts two things to food: a beautiful yellow color, and an earthy, distinctive flavor. I love it (blame it on all the paella I ate in Spain), but I would caution you against adding too much because it can quickly overwhelm any other flavors in the rice. Two good pinches of saffron threads should be plenty.
Alright– prepare for Chinese that isn’t… it’s SO much better than take out!
Liz Sousa’s Sweet + Sour Sauce
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 – 1 cup ketchup
- 2 onion slices, diced
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- dash of salt
- herbs/spices to taste (I like to add garlic powder, sage, coriander and dry mustard)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding more of anything as you see fit. I like lots of zing in my sweet ‘n sour, so I usually double the vinegar.
Not pretty, but SOOOOO delicious
Bake/cook/fry whatever meat you are having and add the sauce to simmer during the last half hour.
For sweet ‘n sour chicken, do this:
Dice 1-2 chicken breasts (easier if they are partially frozen)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper; brown on all sides and add Sweet ‘n Sour sauce to simmer until chicken is cooked through. About 10 minutes before you plan to eat add a small can of Pineapple Tidbits and the juice to the pan. For a thicker sauce you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of the sauce in a small bowl, and then stir the mixture back into the pan with the chicken.
Saffron Fried Rice
- 2 – 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 1/2 sweet pepper, diced
- 1/4 sweet onion, diced
- 2-4 Tbs soy sauce
- olive oil for the pan
Bring the water and saffron to a boil; add the rice, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is done.
In a large saute pan heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Saute onion and pepper until tender. Add rice and soy sauce (more to taste), toss to mix. Serve hot!
Our own “take out”… paired with steamed zucchini and summer squash
Look! Proof that Hubby *does* eat vegetables!