sweet & sour chicken stir fry

In my last few years living at home with my parents, my Mum signed up to MenuMade, an online meal planner offering recipes, weekly plans, supermarket shopping lists and most importantly, meal inspiration, “answering the ‘what to cook for dinner tonight question’ in a way that is easy, healthy and fun!” I always thought it was such a brilliant idea and  can imagine it coming in handy when I have my own family.

Whenever Mum came across a good recipe – one that was easy to prepare and cook, and which we all enjoyed – she’d file it away and it would become a routine meal in our house. Since leaving home and starting my own recipe collection for J and myself, I seem to have accumulated a number of these MenuMade recipes and there is one in particular that is our staple – Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry. We must have made it, gosh, at least 10 times this past year, as well as a whole lot of variations on it. Without chicken (most common), on rice, with a different  sauce.. But the BEST way (or so we think!) is: with chicken, with the sauce exactly as the recipe says, with pineapple chunks, using whatever vegetables are in the garden or fridge (isn’t it always more satisfying ‘using things up’ rather than buying especially for?) and with thick hokien noodles! We have taken this dish, exactly like this, to potlucks, picnics and as leftovers to work.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry
Recipe adapted from MenuMade
Serves 5

My favourite part about this recipe is that the first step is as follows: “If required, take any frozen food for tomorrow night out of the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw.” How organised is that!

1tsp crushed garlic
1tsp crushed ginger (I assume these are from jars- we prefer fresh but whatever is easiest for you)
1tsp canola oil
600g chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

1/2 onion
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 red capsicum
1/2 head broccoli
2 spring onions

400g pineapple pieces in juice
2Tbsp cornflour
3Tbsp soy sauce
2Tbsp brown sugar
2Tbsp white vinegar

2 pack Hokien Noodles (Trident are good)

Place garlic, ginger and oil in a medium sized bowl. Thinly slice chicken into 2-3cm long strips and place in bowl. Mix to combine and set aside to marinate.

Peel onion and slice thinly. Peel and quarter carrots lengthwise and slice into thin sticks. Thinly slice celery and red capsicum. Wash and cut broccoli into small florets. Diagonally slice spring onion.

Drain the juice from the pineapple into a shaker or small bowl (reserve the pineapple). Add the cornflour, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Shake or whisk and set aside.

Heat large frying pan. Add the chicken and stir fry for 4-5 minutes or until tender and juices run clear when cut through the thickest section. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan heat 1 tsp of oil and stir fry onion, carrot and celery for 2-3minutes. Add capsicum, broccoli and reserved pineapple. Stir fry for 2 minutes then mix the chicken back into the pan.

Meanwhile, pierce the plastic of the Hokien noodles and microwave for 20 seconds. This helps them soften when added to the hot pan.

Make a well in the middle of the pan with the chicken and vegetables, pour in the sauce and add the noodles. Gently mix together over a low heat until sauce thickens.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with spring onions.

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