Tangy chicken tops sweet-and-sour version

  • By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press
  • Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:23pm
  • Life

The trouble with sweet-and-sour chicken is that the flavor is mostly sweet — too sweet, at that — and weirdly acidic. It never seems to deliver on the satisfying balance of gently sweet and teasingly sour that I hope for.

But a recipe in a British food magazine recently inspired me to create a better version. The recipe in BBC GoodFood magazine was for caramel chicken wings, though I wasn’t much interested in the wings themselves. It was the caramel-based sauce that intrigued me. Spiked with ginger, lime juice and fish sauce, it seemed just right for what I wanted.

The result is deliciously sweet, but equally tangy and savory. Be warned: This isn’t the gloopy red sweet-and-sour with pineapple and cherries you know from the takeout box. It is much better.

Sweet-and-tangy caramelized chicken thighs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Juice of half a lime

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch strips

Scallions, thinly sliced, to garnish

Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook without stirring for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar has browned and thickened to caramel. Stir in the fish sauce, being careful of sputtering, then the soy sauce, ginger and lime juice. Return to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. When the chicken has cooked, use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the chicken (but none of the liquid in the pan) into the caramel sauce. Toss to coat the chicken with the sauce, then transfer it to a serving platter. Top with scallions and cilantro.

Start to finish: 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 170 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 150 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 42 g protein; 1260 mg sodium.

(Recipe adapted from the November 2013 issue of BBC GoodFood magazine)

More in Life

Rose Johnson, 80, is a member of the Everett Area Newcomers Club, which meets and dines once a month at Sno-Isle Tech’s student-run Le Bistro Restaurant. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Old-timers can join the Everett Area Newcomers Club

Everett group welcomes women for friendship and fun at multiple meet-ups.

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

A visit to the nursery helps put you in the mood to garden

Not ready to get back into gardening? January is still a fun time to poke around a garden center.

Plant of Merit: Hybrid oriental hellebores, Lenten rose

What: Oriental hybrid hellebores, with the common name Lenten rose, are a… Continue reading

Most Read