So EVERY time I make this it is gone with the wind within about 10 minutes and my husband started asking me to triple the recipe so he can eat it several times during the week. The leftovers are pretty good AND its easy to make GLUTEN-FREE.
I call it Mandarin Chicken since that is the closest dish it resembles, but the sauce is a little different.
Homemade Mandarin Chicken
1 cup corn starch (approx)
2 lbs chicken cut into bite-sized pieces (canned chicken does not work well)
oil for frying
1/4 c. vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/3 c. ketchup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. soy sauce (for GFree, make sure it’s GFree soysauce)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or dried minced garlic
1. Set oil in a large pot or skillet (1 1/2 inches deep) on med-hi heat. (For GFree, make sure it is fresh oil or oil that was not used for anything not GFree)
2. Beat eggs in a medium bowl.
3. Pour corn starch into another bowl. (I use large cereal bowls.)
4. In 2-3 batches, place some chicken pieces in the corn starch and coat well, then dip them into the eggs and coat well. Gently place into the hot oil and fry until golden, turning once. About 6 minutes total. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
5. When all the chicken is fried, there are a couple ways to finish this recipe up.
The traditional way: Place the chicken into a casserole dish then mix the remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl then pour evenly over the fried chicken pieces and place in a pre-heated 350F oven and bake for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes then serve with cooked brown or white rice.
The Faster way: Place the fried chicken pieces into a microwaveable casserole dish then mix the remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl and microwave the sauce for 3 minutes on hi before pouring over the chicken. After the sauce is on the chicken microwave for 5-6 minutes stirring after 2-3 minutes then serve over cooked white or brown rice.
The only difference I have noticed from making this recipe BOTH ways, is that the chicken pieces are a little more crispy on the outside after baking, the sauce is a little thicker and the flavor a little more developed. HOWEVER, since I like my sauce a little thinner to mix with my rice and we are in a rush at dinner time more than not, I tend to make the microwave version more than the baked.
FOR FREEZING: After the chicken is fried and on paper towels immediately place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. When all the chicken is done, place the cookie sheet in the freezer and freeze for about 30 minutes. Mix the sauce up and then place the frozen chicken into whatever portions you’d like in freezer-safe containers, and pour the sauce over the chicken. To re-heat, preheat oven to 350F and bake for 40-50 minutes stirring every 10 minutes or microwave for 12-15 minutes checking and stirring every 4 minutes for evenly cooked yumminess.