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Sweet-And-Sour Chicken

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Recipe (click to expand)

3/4 lb Chicken breast

– skinless, boneless 1 tb Rice wine or dry sherry

1 tb Light soy sauce

1/2 ts Salt

1 sm Green bell pepper

1 sm Red bell pepper

1 Carrot

2 Scallions

1 Egg; beaten

2 tb Cornstarch

2 c Oil, preferably peanut

3 oz Canned lychees; drained -OR-

1 -fresh orange in segments

SAUCE 2/3 c Chicken stock

1 tb Light soy sauce

1/2 ts Salt

1 1/2 tb Chinese white rice vinegar

-=OR=- Cider vinegar 1 tb Sugar

1 tb Tomato paste

1 ts Cornstarch

1 ts Water

CUT THE CHICKEN INTO 1-INCH cubes. Put the cubes into a bowl together with the rice wine or sherry, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and marinate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the green and red peppers into 1-inch squares. Peel and cut the carrots and scallions into 1-inch chunks. (The uniform size of meat and vegetables adds to the visual appeal of the dish.) Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the carrots in it for 4 minutes, then drain and set aside. Mix the egg and cornstarch in a bowl until they are well blended into a batter. Lift the chicken cubes out of the marinade, put them into a batter and coat each piece well. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok until it is almost smoking. Remove the chicken pieces from the batter with a slotted spoon and deep-fry them. Drain the deep-fried chicken cubes on paper towels. TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar and tomato paste in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Add all the vegetables, but not the lychees or oranges, and stir well. In a small bowl, blend together the cornstarch and water. Stir this mixture into the sauce, and bring it back to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the lychees or oranges and chicken cubes. Mix well, then turn the mixture onto a deep platter. Serve at once.

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