Italian Sweet and Sour Chicken

Published April 10, 2012 by jenmatteson

I enjoy sweet and sour chicken, though it’s usually not spicy enough for me.  Of course, it’s not really meant to be spicy.  Anyway, I came across this recipe in Food and Wine while I was on vacation (I think I have four Food and Wines that I have yet to read – I think that means I need another vacation!!) and the corner got marked and it was put in my “to try” pile when I got home.  This may be the shortest period of time that a recipe has sat in my “to try” pile.  I have far too many!

I altered the original recipe a bit by using chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken.  I really like spicy wines (like my food!) like a Malbec or Carmenere, so the closest to a light bodied red I had on hand was a Pinot Noir.  This was not at all what I was expecting, but it was really good.  I think I was expecting more of an Asian flavor, but this is not at all close.  However, Nate and I both enjoyed it and it will definitely be going in the “keep” folder.

Italian Sweet and Sour Chicken

Source: Food and Wine
Servings: 2


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup light bodied red wine, such as Chianti
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp capers


1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil.  Add chicken and cook over moderately high heat until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.  Pour off the oil.

2. Pour remaining oil into pan and add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add sugar, wine, vinegar, orange juice, and capers and bring to a boil.  Return chicken to the pan.  Cover partially and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from the pan, increase heat to high and boil sauce until it thickens, about 3 minutes.  Season sauce with salt and pepper and return chicken to the pan until warmed through.  Transfer to a plate and spoon sauce over chicken.

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