Thursday, 9 October 2014

Family Dinners - Sweet & Sour Battered Chicken {Dairy & Gluten Free}

Although we hardly ever eat takeaway, and didn't before we had allergies to deal with either, on those rare occasions when we do have a Chinese Takeaway I always, always plump for the battered sweet & sour chicken. I just love it! 

As well as the fact that it is so expensive, it just doesn't seem fair to eat it when some of the boys aren't able to enjoy it


I have been making a sweet and sour sauce that they can eat for a while but it was when I discovered the lovely gluten free batter for my lemon chicken  recipe that I realised I could finally make the full version of my favourite takeaway dish that all the boys could enjoy too.

I'm happy to say that they loved it just as much as I do.

Now, while I am including this in my Family Dinners series, I should point out that it's not the sort of dinner you can rustle up in 20 minutes when you are just in the door and everyone is starving. Having said that, it isn't labour intensive either. The reason it takes a little while to cook is that you need to deep fry the battered chicken in batches. When I made this last week, to serve 8, I timed myself and it took around 45 minutes. I don't know how long you like to spend cooking but to me that isn't too long.

Don't be afraid of the deep frying. I do ours in the wok, with the lid on. I suppose ideally you would use a deep fryer, but I think as long as you are sensible then the risks are minimal!

Oh, and if you are catering for allergies, do make sure you buy gluten free soy sauce! Most normal brands contain wheat but it is quite easy to find gluten free versions in the supermarkets.

So, on with the recipe.

To serve 6 - 8 you will need:

6 chicken breasts or around 2lbs of chicken breast, chopped

{For the batter}
3 eggs, beaten
6-8 tablespoons cornflour

{For the sauce}
6 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
4 tablespoons wheat free soy sauce
8 tablespoons orange juice (from a carton is fine but if you are using freshly squeezed this is about 3 oranges)
4 tablespoons water
2 limes, the juice of them
2 teaspoons cornflour
4 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 bunch spring onions, chopped

~Start by filling your pan for deep frying with oil and heating it up. It needs to be really hot before you start frying.
~Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and then whisk in the cornflour. How much cornflour you need will depend on the size of your eggs but you are aiming for a thickish batter. Not too thick, but thick enough to coat the chicken.
~Drop handfuls of the chicken into the batter mix and then carefully add them to the oil. Even if you think the pan is big enough to cook a large batch of chicken, it is best not to do too much at a time or you will cool the oil down too much, causing your chicken to take longer to cook and risking a soggy batter!
~Turn each batch of chicken half way through. It probably takes about 5 minutes on each side. You want it to look nice and golden on both sides.
~When each batch is cooked, drain on some kitchen towel and put in a dish in the oven to keep warm.

~While your chicken is cooking you can get on with the sauce.

~Add the vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, water, lime juice, cornflour, tomato puree & brown sugar to a bowl and whisk it all together.
~Put a little oil in a pan, add the garlic & spring onions then lightly brown them.
~Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and heat up gently.
~When all of the chicken is cooked pour the sauce over the chicken.

~Serve with rice and prawn crackers.


  1. This looks so delicious! The men in my life--husband Rick, sons Henry, Charlie, Sam, and Ben-- are the REAL chefs in our home! For Thanksgiving Day, I'm up at 6 am baking the pumpkin pie! After that, everyone just swoops in and makes his specialty! I'm responsible for the fruit, cheese, and cracker tray during the day for us to munch and later, for setting a beautiful table!

    Having celiac disease, I'm the 'It Kid" when it comes to pizza and Chinese take out where the sweet and sour or sesame chicken dishes are not for me! I do miss them and will add your wonderful recipe to our family's cookbook (a three- ring binder where we keep our tried- and- true favorites) for "us" to make SOON! My husband's wok will be put to good use with the cool autumn days we are experiencing now on Long Island. Thanks, Kirsteen!!!!

  2. This looks just beautiful. My mouth is watering. I look forward to trying… the lemon chicken recipe sounds great


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