15 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken

15 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken

 

I have a number of Sweet and Sour Chicken recipes on the blog.  This one uses popcorn chicken along with a homemade sauce.

The sauce comes from this recipe, which is one of our all time favorite meals.  It’s also a meal that makes me feel like I’ve really been cooking.  And it makes the kitchen look like a lot of cooking has happened!

This 15 minute version is so much easier and faster.  Admittedly, it isn’t quite as good as the all homemade version.  But 15 minutes is easy to do on a plain, old weeknight.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Popcorn Chicken Parmesan – 15 Minute Meal

Popcorn Chicken Parmesan - 15 Minute Meal

I’m a little bit proud of myself for this recipe.  I’d be willing to bet that a bag of frozen popcorn chicken has never been elevated to such a fantastic meal before.

In fact, it tastes homemade.  It tastes like you’ve spent quite a long time simmering and seasoning in the kitchen.  Certainly, longer than the 15 minutes it actually took.

So what’s the secret?  Fresh garlic cooked in olive oil.

Fresh garlic is quick to use and it makes a huge difference in how your food tastes.  There’s really no comparison between fresh and the jarred kind.  And garlic powder and fresh garlic aren’t even the same thing.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not above using the jarred garlic and I have garlic powder in my pantry too.  But if you want real, homemade flavor you have to use the real deal.

And if you get a great garlic press, it will be just as quick as popping the lid on the jar of garlic.  I promise!  Once I got a decent garlic press, I never bought the jarred kind again.

My press comes from Pampered Chef.  But there are other good ones on the market.  This Oxo Steel Garlic Press is $19.99  and gets good reviews on Amazon.  This Zyliss Susi 3 Garlic Press also gets good reviews and it only $14.12.  I promise you, the cost will be worth it.  I thought it was a bit too much before I bought one, but I use it all the time and the fresh garlic really is fantastic in recipes.

Okay, back to the recipe today.  You really can make this Popcorn Chicken Parmesan in the amount of time it takes to boil the pasta.

You’ll use that garlic press to crush several cloves of garlic and cook them in olive oil.  Add a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese and toss with the garlic and oil.  Then toss the frozen popcorn chicken with the garlic and cheese, before popping it in the oven to bake.

While the chicken bakes, you’ll put together a quick homemade sauce with crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs.  Add the chicken back into the sauce once it’s baked and serve it over the hot cooked pasta.

Easy!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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General Tso’s Chicken and Broccoli

In college, the dining hall had a made-to-order station featuring a different dish ever night. General Tso’s nights were one of my favorites – you could pick your protein, vegetables and type of rice for a customizable dinner. I always got chicken and broccoli with brown rice. When I moved off campus, it was one of the few things I missed about the dining hall.

I quickly learned to recreate it at home and it’s been one of our go-to dinners on busy nights since – it’s on the table in about twenty minutes.  It’s also a really flexible recipe. Broccoli not your thing? You can sub in snap peas, green beans or another vegetable. Small meatballs or pork can be subbed for the chicken.

If you’re going for the classic, though, here’s what you’ll need.   [Read more…]

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Orange Chicken

I’ve made this twice now.  It is so easy and we all love it.  The taste is similar to sweet and sour chicken, but it has a little bit of kick from red pepper flakes in the sauce.

It’s a complete cheater meal, making use of several convenience items.  That means this meal can be fixed in just about 15 minutes.  Faster than grabbing food at a restaurant.

Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]