Puffy chicken fingers smothered in a way-too-sweet sauce? No thanks. This go-to takeout dish from my childhood needed an update.
Why This Recipe Works
For a not-too-sweet sauce, we simmered pineapple juice, orange juice, white vinegar, water, sugar, ketchup, and pepper flakes and then thickened the reduced mixture with cornstarch. For the chicken, we cut boneless breasts into bite-size pieces and coated them in a batter of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, water, and 3 tablespoons of oil. We fried the chicken in 375-degree oil until supercrispy and tossed the pieces in 1 cup of our sweet-and-sour sauce. To add color and crunch to the dish, we fried pieces of sweet red bell pepper and scallion in the same oil we used to fry the chicken pieces.