Pineapple Blood Orange Sweet & Sour Chicken with Vegetables
I didn’t always “know how” to cook. I didn’t really have the chance to start playing around in the kitchen until my early twenties, but once I started I couldn’t stop. Long story short, I learned the bulk of my cooking and baking from someone that didn’t really like me. I wasn’t fond of her either, but when we were in the kitchen none of that mattered.
She had a very impressive background. No formal training, but she was raised in an amish community and she knew how to make everything from scratch. And it tasted good.
So many years later here I am! Making my ideas turn into reality and most of my ideas end up successful. Yeah it can take a few tries but this one turned out perfect. Just in case I lost my notes, I just had to share this with you! Now we both have the recipe.
Gluten Free Pineapple & Blood Orange Sauce
Taylor gave me an inspiration by suggesting that we have something for dinner that was both sweet and sour like a sour gummy worm. I thought of a sweet and sour sauce, which I have never ever made before in my life. I don’t even like sweet and sour sauce.
I had the sweet in the form of fruits from our weekly produce order combined with sugar. The sour could easily be vinegar and I knew of some veggies that would love to volunteer for this dinner…along with a few unsuspecting chicken breasts.
I was so pleased with the way this turned out The tangy-ness of the sauce was subtle and the sweetness was excitingly pleasant. Acidity from the vinegar really brightened up the sauce. Tender chicken and vegetables were thoroughly coated with the sweet, tangy sauce nested atop the warm rice. This was the most balanced sweet and sour sauce that I have ever had the pleasure of eating. This is going on my list of favorite chicken dinner recipes and if I ever write a cookbook I will be sure to add this one. I have never had the desire to try a chicken sweet and sour sauce recipe, but now this may be a regular at our house.
This experience started with fruit flying everywhere and ended up with my mutterings that varied between curses and excited squeals of happiness! I would imagine that I looked like an eccentric artist painting a vision to make it a reality on canvas. My canvas was a plate and the paint was the ingredients. This came together fairly quickly too! I had no recipe to modify only a faint memory of sweet and sour sauce that I had tasted years ago, but didn’t enjoy.
Please note: These measurements and instructions are notes from when I made this recipe for myself. Making changes to the ingredients or the process may change the outcome. This recipe has not been extensively tested but I still encourage you to give it a try if you like to make your own sauces.
- Core of 1 pineapple, chopped
- 1½ cup chopped pineapple, ½ cup for blending and 1 cup for cooking with the chicken and veggies
- 2 blood oranges, peeled
- 2 cups of water
- 1½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 6 tbsp vinegar (gluten free), will use 2 tbsp. at a time
- 3 small bowls, each with ⅛ cup packed dark brown sugar
- Alaea Hawaiian sea salt
- onion powder (gluten free)
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 chopped eggplant, skin removed if you want
- 1 diced green pepper
- Cube chicken and cook in a pan seasoning with salt, pepper and onion powder to taste on medium heat. While chicken is browning, add pineapple core and ½ cup chopped pineapple, blood orange, a pinch of Alaea salt and water into a blender and blend for at least 60 seconds. Strain out fruit pulp and reserve the liquid, setting aside. Once chicken is cooked, remove and reserve half of the chicken and let the remaining chicken cook in the pain until there are those precious little brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Turn heat up to medium high and deglaze the pan with just over ½ cup of the fruit puree. Add ⅛ cup of brown sugar and 2 tbsp. vinegar. Add ½ of your eggplant and green pepper along with ½ cup of your chopped pineapple. Simmer and taste your sauce, adding additional seasonings to achieve your ultimate flavor. Leaving space in the pan and waiting for liquid to reduce is a must.That is what the extra ⅛ cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp. vinegar are for. When sauce thickens, remove chicken and sauce from the pan. Repeat with the second batch of chicken. You can make additional sauce by simmering in a pan using the same process only without chicken and vegetables. Serve over rice.
Maybe this will encourage you to try an idea that you’ve been thinking about. What are you waiting for? Just go for it!