I found the premise for this recipe on AllRecipes. But I made so many changes that I felt I had to blog it .
This recipe isn't difficult, but it does take a little bit of time. I would recommend setting aside about a hour to really complete it.
You could easily substitute the veggies for a bag of stir fry mix to cut down on some prep time. Just steam or cook as directed on the bag
You could easily do this with chunks of pork as well.
I suggest having a cooking rack over a baking sheet and keeping it in a 200 degree oven to place the chicken that has been fried so it stays warm and crisp. You can also put the veggies on a tray on the bottom to keep it warm as well.
Alternatively, you could fry this up earlier in the day (nap time, anyone?) and reheat on a rack over a cookie sheet at 350 for 15 minutes. They reheat very well. You can freeze any extras and do the same. The leftover chicken also makes EXCELLENT chicken nuggets for kids. Delish.
I suggest serving this with rice cooked in chicken broth. You could do some fried rice if you are feeling extra ambitious!
I preferred to not use food coloring to give the sauce its signature orange pink look. It does result in a odd opaque white look, which may not be for everyone. Feel free to add a couple drops of orange food coloring if you desire. I might invest in some natural dyes or even try a slight pinch of turmeric. I actually think that would work very well. Not too much though.
I would add the sauce to each serving as its dished up so the chicken stays crisp. Also, you don't want to have the "eye is bigger than the stomach" syndrome and have a bunch of soggy leftovers.
With all that being said, lets begin. I really suggest reading the recipe in full before hand to get the steps in mind. Its a lot of steps, but its simple. And the results are worth it.
For the veggies:
2 green bell peppers, diced into 1 inch squares
1 large onion, diced into 1 inch squares
2 carrots, peeled and cut into very thin rings
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (optional. We had it to use up)
For the sauce:
1 20 oz can pineapple chunks and juice (remove chunks and set aside)
1/2 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup water, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
food coloring (if desired)
For the chicken:
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 1/4 cups self rising flour (or add 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour)
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil (of choice. coconut, olive, canola/veg)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (You can use water if you want. I think the broth added something)
Enough to put 1 inch of oil in your pan. Use a smaller pan if needed, and do in batches. I used a jar of coconut oil. Maybe 14 oz or so? You can use peanut if you want, or even vegetable oil if you must (I'm not a fan, personally.) You can use coconut oil several times over if you strain it.
Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Pat dry and lay on a platter. Salt and pepper liberally and then sprinkle with garlic and onion powder. Rub it around and make sure its well coated. Let sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes to take the chill off and let the flavor meld.
For the veggies, steam in a pot for maybe 5 minutes, until softened. If you don't have a steamer insert, you can lightly boil, or even sauté for a few minutes. Keep warm in 200 degree oven while frying.
I would start the rice at this point if you are boiling up some rice.
In a saucepan over medium, stir together the pineapple juice, vinegar, sugar, and 1 1/2 cup water. Heat until boiling. While heating, whisk together the 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup cornstarch (and food coloring, if desired). Once boiling, turn off heat and add in the cornstarch mixture. Stir well until it thickens (it was very quick for me). Keep warm.
Start the oil in a frying pan on one notch above medium heat until it reaches 350-360 degrees or so. No thermometer? Use a wooden spoon.
While the oil is heating, whisk together the dry ingredients for the batter. Add the oil, egg, and water/broth. Mix, but don't over mix, until combined and like a thick pancake batter.
Add the chicken to that bowl and coat stir until well coated.
Carefully add bits of chicken to the pan. Don't over crowd the pan or do too many at once. This will be several batches. Cook a few minutes and flip with tongs. They cook fast, but it doesn't hurt to sacrifice one nugget to make sure the chicken is getting done in the middle, just to be safe. Put the cooked chicken on a rack in the oven to keep warm while you finish the rest.
To serve, dish up the rice, veggies, some of the reserved pineapple and chicken. Drizzle the sauce generously over it all and enjoy the amazing meal you pulled off.