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Monday, February 18, 2013

Cooking for Two: Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Happy President's Day! I have the day off from school and Keith from work, so we're finally celebrating Valentine's day today.  I was talking to my mom on the phone last night (Hi Mom!) and I mentioned to her this recipe that I had tried recently for sweet and sour chicken. Suddenly, I was craving it. Luckily, Keith was game so we had it for dinner (& I took pictures!) Its very easy to make and so flavorful. Since we'd made it once before, we altered it a bit to make it a tad spicy. It was perfectly sweet, but the vegetables had a bit of a kick to it. I'll include substitutions for sweet and sour chicken if spicy isn't quite your flavor.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken
altered from Diet Recipes Blog found via Pinterest

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 Tbs flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 large can of pineapple chunks, in unsweetened juice

1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs vinegary hot sauce (we used Franks) or soy sauce (for not spicy)
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 thick rings of onion, chopped
1 lg carrot, cut into strips. Or a handful of baby carrots (that's what I usually have on hand)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips (or use one whole bell pepper instead of two halves of different. I think it adds great color)

Whisk together the flour, sugar, pepper, and the juice from the can of pineapple into a bowl until smooth. Keep the pineapple from the can to the side. Add the hot sauce (or soy sauce), ketchup, and lemon juice to the bowl, mix, and then set the sauce aside.  Spray a large saucepan with vegetable spray, then cook the chicken, onion, and carrot over medium heat until the chicken is browned on both sides. Add the peppers the pan and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender. Add the sauce and the pineapple pieces to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Keith and I eat it alone, which gives us a huge plateful each. Since this is such a great balance of sweet and spicy, feel free to add a few more dashes of hot sauce over the top if you'd like to tip the scale more. Serve with rice to feed more mouths or give yourself some leftovers.

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