Monday, March 6, 2017

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken for the Freezer


Life has taken some crazy turns this early in the new year. Not only did we have to bury my grandmother in early January, but the same day our oldest was admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal pain and then the latest; our nine year old broke her arm just two weeks ago. It was the worst thing I've ever witnessed, being an open fracture. Honestly it looked like an awful sports injury you see happen on ESPN. I've since warned all the girls, there is to be no more hospital stays this year, at all! And I'm done with broken bones, they've all broken one thing or another. It's enough.

Besides all that chaos, everything else is good in life. I'm still actively participating in the Live Healthy Iowa ten week health challenge. We've just begun week seven and I'm in my last week of the Insanity workout program that I've been doing. Spring break is just around the corner for us, starting on Friday for our school. So I'm excited to relax a little more, and maybe if the weather cooperates, get outside and do a little running.


During my week off from work, I'm hoping to get a little meal prepping/freezer cooking done. The girls and I are always home by ourselves on Monday nights while Josh has bowling league and this is one dish we occasionally like to enjoy. While it's probably not the most healthy dish in the world, when I can make it at home and know what ingredients are in it, I'm happy to serve it to our family.

In the couple years that I've been making it, I've really come to like prepping an extra batch for the freezer. The chicken holds up well whether I leave it in a pan or throw it into a freezer bag. I leave the sauce separate or even mix it up the night of to prevent the breading getting too soggy. We serve this dish with rice and lots of steamed veggies. It's one of my favorite DIY takeout meals!




Sweet and Sour Chicken 

Ingredients:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
Olive oil (for when ready to cook)

Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder

Rice, for serving
Choice of veggies, for serving


Directions:
Cut chicken into cubes on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Set up two bowls, one with the cornstarch and another with the eggs, lightly beaten. Dip chicken into cornstarch, coating completely and then into the eggs. Cook chicken in a large skillet with a bit of olive oil just until browned, a few minutes. Remove the chicken onto a large plate lined with a paper towel to cool.

Once completely cooled, add all the chicken to a large freezer safe dish, I used a 9x13-inch Pyrex baking dish that has a lid. Or I've dumped it all into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Just make sure to label and date with contents. Place into the freezer, will keep for up to three months.

You can mix all the sauce ingredients together and throw into the freezer as well, either in a freezer safe bowl or a baggie. But it really only takes a few minutes, so I usually just wait until I'm ready to prepare our meal and mix it up.

When ready to cook your chicken, remove from freezer and let thaw. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour sauce over the chicken and bake in oven 15 minutes. Flip pieces of chicken for even browning and then return to oven for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with rice and your choice of veggies.

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