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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serve with rice and sliced scallions!

sweet and sour chicken
Ralph Smith

If you're craving some comfort food, why not take Ree Drummond's suggestion: sweet and sour chicken? "This tastes just like one of my favorite takeout dinners," she says. In American Chinese cuisine, sweet and sour sauce is traditionally made by mixing sugar or honey (the sweetness) with rice vinegar or soy sauce (the sourness), along with a dash of spices like ginger and garlic cloves for added flavor. Ree's recipe for sweet and sour chicken is made by combining pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, Sriracha—and that's it! That's the secret sauce to this easy chicken dinner recipe! (Psst, this is a great recipe to break out that rice cooker, too!)

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Yields: 4 - 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 40 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 40 mins
1 1/2 c.

pineapple juice

1/3 c.

rice vinegar

1/4 c.

packed light brown sugar

1/4 c.


2 tbsp.

low-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp.


3 tbsp.



skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1. pounds), cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

2 tbsp.

vegetable oil


scallions, white parts chopped and green parts thinly sliced


red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 c.

diced pineapple

Cooked white rice, for serving

  1. Whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a large measuring cup. Remove 2 tablespoons to a small bowl and whisk with 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Toss the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a large bowl until coated. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half the chicken in a single layer and cook, turning, until well browned, crispy and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken and remove to the plate.
  3. Add the scallion whites and bell peppers to the drippings in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the peppers start to blister slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the pineapple juice-vinegar mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is glossy and reduced slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and return to a boil. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the pineapple to the skillet and stir to coat and heat through, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Serve over rice and sprinkle with the scallion greens.
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