Sweet Fire Chicken
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I don’t go to Panda Express very often, even though I LOVE it, so when I do splurge & get Chinese, I always get their sweet fire chicken. It is my favorite as well as the beijing beef. For some reason I like the spicy dishes there, even though I don’t “handle the heat” very well.
Anyway, I found this copy cat recipe & it is darn near an exact replica of the real deal. I don’t think I will ever need to go to Panda Express to get this chicken ever again. Delicious!
- 2 small chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
- Salt & Pepper
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2-3 eggs beaten
- 1 cup cornstarch
- canola oil, for frying
- 1 red jalapeno, seeded (keep seeds for more heat) & chopped fine
- 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, OPTIONAL - In addition to jalapeno if you need more heat
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp COLD water
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 white onion, julienned
- 1 (20oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
- For the chicken: Season cut up chicken with salt & pepper. Set up your breading station: zip-top bag with flour, plate with beaten eggs, & zip-top bag with cornstarch. Dredge chicken in flour, then coat with egg, then shake in cornstarch. Repeat until all chicken is finished.
- Start your sauce: combine red jalapeno, garlic, sugar, water, vinegar & salt in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling. Make a slurry with your cornstarch & water & whisk into boiling sauce until thickened. Taste & adjust heat with crushed red pepper flakes if needed. Hold sauce on low temperature.
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Carefully lay chicken strips into the oil. Do half the mixture at a time, so you don't overcrowd your chicken. Cook until golden brown & no longer pink in the middle. Let rest on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Repeat with other half of chicken. Keep warm. Wash pan.
- In the large skillet, that is now clean, add 1 Tbsp canola oil. Saute red bell pepper & onions for 3 minutes. Add pineapples, & the reserved sauce & chicken. Toss everything together until well-coated & heated through. Serve on top of your choice of rice.