This has been a family favorite for many years. This recipe, while delicious and absolutely worth it, is going to be a bit more work. It’s not complicated. It’s not hard. But it’s also not a 30-minute meal. With that in mind I do have some time saving tips to help you out.
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)- I use 1/2 c.
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (see note for substitutions)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or soy sauce substitute)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (See recipe below for homemade)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cut the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch pieces*. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized Ziploc type bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot and rippling. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet.
Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side until the crust is golden but the chicken is not all the way cooked through (this is where it's really important to have a hot skillet/oil). Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a 9X13-inch baking dish or large cookie sheet with sides and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
*I use the least amount of oil possible. I prefer to use THIS pan with just a drizzle of oil to help crisp up the outside. I don't care for non-stick pans but this was a gift and has been the best one I have ever used.
* This is NOT saucy. If you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the recipe instructions; pour the other half in a small saucepan and cook the sauce on the stove-top at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.
You can sub in rice vinegar for the apple cider vinegar for a milder/slightly sweeter flavor.
* I use equal amounts of sugar and apple cider vinegar. I find it too sweet with the original 3/4 c. sugar.
* I cut the chicken into 1/2 inch or so pieces. Original recipe called for 1-1 1/2 inch cubes.
* I put foil down on the pan for easy clean up.
TIME SAVING TIPS:
Cut up chicken, season and toss with corn starch in the AM (refrigerate until ready to cook)
Put about a 1/3 of the seasoned chicken into whisked eggs, mix with hands or spoon. I don't fuss over coating them individually. That would take forever!
Cook in a hot pan until one side is browned well, flip over. I don't fuss over getting each one perfectly flipped and browned on every side.
Repeat with another third or so until all is cooked.
Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces rather than larger.
Use foil for easy clean up
* In my opinion it is best eaten freshly cooked. Left overs are so-so.