In about the time it takes to order and pick up Chinese takeout, you can make this much healthier version of sweet & sour chicken. Our version loses all the saturated fat that comes from deep-frying, along with the extra sugar and salt. If you prefer, use tofu instead of chicken, and use your favorite vegetables; just be sure to cut them into similar-size pieces so they all cook at about the same rate.
- 2 cups instant brown rice
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons finely grated or minced ginger
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers
- 1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Prepare rice according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken. Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with the rice.
Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”