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Friday, August 13, 2010

Sweet And Sour Chicken & Shrimp Fried Rice

Sweet and Sour Chicken & Shrimp Fried Rice

We live out in the sticks! It takes at least 15 minutes to get to the city limits and within sight of a store. Being so far out in the country has it’s advantages as well as it’s disadvantages. We think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Our family has planted a large summer and winter garden as long as long as I can remember that spans a few acres. Our neighbors are mostly family, but the ones that aren’t are people we have known all of our lives….my childhood pastor, a friend I‘ve had since kindergarten, etc. Our water doesn’t taste like bleach and the neighbors aren’t playing their music as loud as possible at 3 am. These are just some of the things I love about the country. One of the disadvantages? If you get a craving for something, such as Chinese food, you are out of luck unless you are willing to take at least a 40 minute trip. In any direction, it’s 40 minutes to the closest Chinese restaurant. Until now, this was a hardship for Ronnie and I …ha-ha…Well, maybe not a hardship, but it was definitely a disadvantage of country life! That was until these recipes entered our home!! We can now hang on a little while longer before having to make that 40 minute trip for Chinese food. Give them a try, even if you live closer than we do to your next fix…I think you’ll like them. My brother, mom and dad ate with us today when I fixed this meal and they all loved it…and they don’t like Chinese food. My brother, Wes…who HATES chicken…said the Sweet and Sour Chicken was “fine”. That Wes approves this chicken recipe speaks volumes. According to him he now only eats chicken two ways, fried and in this Sweet and Sour recipe. The shrimp fried rice perfectly rounds out this meal. Okay, I won’t hold you up any longer…here is the recipe:

Sweet and Sour Chicken:
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and pepper

1 c. cornstarch

5 whole eggs, lightly beaten

¼ c. canola oil

For the Sauce:

¾ c. sugar

4 T. ketchup

½ c. vinegar

1 T. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic salt

Cut chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until browned on all sides but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a glass baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick coking spray. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake for 1 hour at 325°. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Shrimp Fried Rice:

20 oz. shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 T. soy sauce

1 T. pineapple juice

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with 1 ½ tsp. water

1 medium onion, diced fine

5 eggs

6 T. oil

2 bags Rice mixed with Veggies

Pat shrimp dry and add the marinade ingredients. Marinate for 15 minutes. In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs and salt lightly with a whisk. Set aside. Heat the wok and then add 1 ½ tablespoon oil. When oil is ready, pour egg mixture in the wok and cook over medium heat, turning over once. Cut eggs into thin strips; set aside. Add 2 ½ tablespoons oil to wok, when hot add onion and shrimp and cook on high heat for a few moments. Remove shrimp and onion and set aside. Add 1-2 tablespoons oil and turn the down the heat to medium and stir-fry the rice. Add one cup of the sweet and sour sauce ( recipe follows) and stir to combine.

Sweet and Sour sauce for Shrimp Fried Rice

2/3 c. white vinegar

8 T. brown sugar

2 T. ketchup

2 tsp. soy sauce

4 tsp. cornstarch

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cornstarch and stir to thicken. Remove from heat.

(Be careful to watch this and stir constantly or it will burn. Also, follow the directions exactly, if you add the cornstarch directly to the pot with the other ingredients, it will form a paste.)