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Don't get me wrong, I love sweet and sour chicken and I love to cook but I just can't stand cooking sweet and sour chicken. Most of the problem stems from the fact that I make huge portions of everything to make sure there's plenty of leftovers. Huge portions means having to choose between cooking it in several batches or overcrowding the pan with one big batch where the chicken takes six days to fully cook. And it's so messy! Especially since it's usually breaded.
With this recipe, I fixed the issue by cooking the meat, veggies, and pineapple on the grill. I love the larger chunks of veggies and the added char is a fun way to change up regular old sweet and sour chicken. I only cooked the sauce and rice on the stove and I just used the same pot for each one. There was so much less mess to clean up!
I did skip on the huge portions though. Sort of. I made a huge portion and cut the recipe in half for you. I like to have plenty of leftovers but I know lots of people don't and it seems like most recipes are within the 4-6 serving range so I assume that's what most people prefer. It's also an amount that's easy to halve or double so I can understand that.
In addition to only cooking 2-3 times a week and essentially living off leftovers, lately I've been trying to only go to the store once every two weeks (on payday). It's too hard to get to the store with a cranky toddler and it's easier to make sure we always have lunches and dinners ready to go when I've already bought all the ingredients. There are never any questions on what we're having either because it's all planned out! I think I've been doing this for two months now and it's really made things easier. It requires a lot of preparation but easier that trying to come up with something to make last minute in the middle of the work week. Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.
Were you reading Eat Something Delicious back in 2014? For the seven of you who were, thanks for sticking around! For everyone else, you missed a really good recipe for pineapple sauce that I was thinking might be pretty good on these kebabs. I think the sweet and sour sauce is a better fit for grilled food but since we've already made this twice I might test out the pineapple sauce next time. Let me know if you try it too!
Put these kebabs on the grill for an outdoor cooking spin on sweet & sour chicken with less mess. This recipe is gluten and dairy free with a paleo option.
- 2 Tbsp cooking fat of choice, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ C rice vinegar *sub with apple cider vinegar for paleo option*
- ⅓ C ketchup *use Primal Kitchen ketchup for a paleo option*
- ½ C coconut aminos
- ½ C pineapple juice
- ¼ C maple sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp cold water
- 3 chicken breasts
- ⅓ red onion
- 2 C pineapple chunks
- 1 ½ red bell pepper
- 3 C prepared rice *sub with cauliflower rice for paleo option*
- sliced green onion to garnish
- Start heating your grill and if you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes.
- To make the sauce, heat 1 Tbsp of cooking fat in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, coconut aminos, pineapple juice, maple sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes and continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the starch and cold water until all the starch is dissolved. Bring the sauce to a simmer then whisk in the starch mixture. Allow to simmer a moment longer to thicken then set aside.
- Cut chicken, red onion, pineapple, and red bell pepper into bite sized chunks and put them on your skewers. However you want to skewer them is fine. I did a few skewers with some of each ingredient on them and a few skewers with all onion, all chicken, etc.
- Brush the kebabs with a little bit of fat (melted if necessary) and place them on the hot grill and close the lid. After about 5 minutes, set aside about ¼ C or so of the sauce and brush it over the top of the kebabs then flip them over. Continue turning the kebabs every couple of minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and everything is charred to your liking. You can add extra sauce but reserve enough for serving.
- To serve, pull all the ingredients off the skewers and toss them in the remaining sauce. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onion.