Tuesday, 3 May 2016

MADE : A Healthier-Than-Takeaway Slow Cooked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I am an absolute fiend when it comes to sweet and sour chicken. Every Saturday it's the only thing I ever want for dinner (however, I do not allow myself it or I would be even bigger!)

SO, I decided something had to be done. A healthier alternative that I could make at home needed to be found BUT with the almost-as-good-as-the-takeaway taste. Well, I think I've found it AND, bonus, it doesn't leave you feeling like a bloated whale afterwards!

All you need for 4 servings is:
4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks or strips
400g pineapple rings or chunks, in juice (1 tin)
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into strips
1/2 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped into strips
1 onion (red or white), chopped into strips
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, crushed
2cm piece of grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (alternatively use 2 tbsp soft brown sugar)
1 tbsp tomato puree
50ml red wine vinegar (I used 30ml apple cider instead)
200ml hot chicken stock
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Spring onions, to garnish (optional)
Sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)

Serve with rice or, if you're keeping it healthier, quinoa.

Let's get started...

1. If you've got plenty of time, flick your slow cooker on low (cooking time 8-10 hours) or if you've got less time, flick your slow cooker on high (cooking time 6-8 hours). Allow it to heat a little before adding the ingredients.

2. Drain the pineapple but keep the juice for the sauce. Add the pineapple juice to the slow cooker (save the chunks until later!) followed by the crushed garlic, sliced peppers, onion, carrot and grated ginger.

3. Add the agave (or sugar), tomato puree, red wine (or apple cider) vinegar, soy sauce and hot chicken stock. Stir it all together well.

4. Season the chunk/strip chicken with sea salt and black pepper then toss in flour to coat. Add this chicken to the slow cooker.

5. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8 hours depending on when you'd like it to be ready. Typically, cooking on low for longer makes the chicken taste amazing.

6. When you're about to dish up, add the pineapple chunks to the slow cooker and stir in. Leave for 5-10 minutes. Cook your rice/quinoa/noodles/whatever you're using now and garnish this with sesame seeds/spring onion if using.

7. Dish it all up! And enjoy.

Have you got a favourite homemade takeaway alternative recipe?


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