Cook Like Mary Berry: How to Make Perfect Sweet and Sour Chicken

Welcome to the delightful world of Mary Berry’s Sweet and Sour Chicken! This recipe captures the essence of sweet and sour cuisine, presenting a perfectly balanced dish that’s both vibrant and tantalizing. Inspired by Mary Berry’s approach to comfort food, this dish is a fantastic way to bring a touch of gourmet to your everyday meals. It’s simple enough for weeknight dinners yet impressive enough for social gatherings.

How To Make Mary Berry Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe Overview

Mary Berry’s Sweet and Sour Chicken is an exquisite blend of tender chicken pieces, crisped to perfection, and a homemade sweet and sour sauce that’s irresistibly tangy and sweet. The batter-coated chicken, combined with a colorful mix of bell peppers, makes for a visually appealing and delicious meal. Cooking this dish will take approximately 30 minutes from start to finish, making it an excellent choice for a quick yet satisfying dinner. This recipe serves about 4 people, making it perfect for family meals or when you have a couple of friends over.

Ingredients

  • Chicken: 500g, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Bell Peppers: 200g total, a mixture of green and red, cubed

For the Batter:

  • All-purpose flour: 100g
  • Cornflour: 50g
  • Baking powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Egg white: from 1 large egg
  • Chilled water: as needed to make the batter

For the Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  • Tomato ketchup: 100ml
  • Sugar: 3 tbsp
  • White vinegar: 3 tbsp
  • Dark soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Oil: for deep frying, as needed

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Batter: In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg white and gradually mix in chilled water until the batter is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Batter the Chicken: Dip the chicken pieces into the batter, ensuring each piece is well coated.
  3. Fry the Chicken: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pan to 180°C (356°F). Carefully drop the battered chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  4. Make the Sauce: In a saucepan, mix together tomato ketchup, sugar, white vinegar, and dark soy sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Combine Chicken and Sauce: Toss the crispy chicken and cubed bell peppers into the sauce. Stir well to ensure all pieces are nicely coated.
  6. Serve: Serve hot, garnished with sesame seeds or spring onions if desired.

Nutritional Value

This dish is high in protein and provides a moderate amount of carbs. Each serving approximately contains:

Calories: 370 kcal

Protein: 26g

Fat: 15g (Varies with frying)

Carbohydrates: 35g

Sugars: 10g

Sodium: 850mg

Also Try: Mary Berry Steak Pie Recipe

How To Store And Reheat This Recipe?

Storing and reheating sweet and sour chicken properly is essential for maintaining its texture and flavor:

How to Store:

Cool Down: Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature before storing to prevent moisture buildup.

Refrigerate: Place the chicken in an airtight container. If possible, keep the sauce separate to prevent the chicken from getting soggy. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the chicken in a sealed container or freezer bag. It’s best to freeze the chicken and sauce separately. Frozen, it should be good for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat:

Refrigerated Chicken:

Oven: Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spread the chicken on a baking sheet and cover lightly with foil. Reheat for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. If the sauce is separate, warm it in a saucepan and then toss with the chicken.

Microwave: For a quick option, place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot.

Frozen Chicken:

Thawing: First, thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator.

Follow the reheating instructions for refrigerated chicken.

Using these methods will help ensure your sweet and sour chicken remains delicious even after storage.

FAQs

Can I use pre-made sweet and sour sauce?

Yes, using a pre-made sweet and sour sauce is perfectly fine and can save you time. However, store-bought sauces may vary in flavor and sweetness, so taste it before adding and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Adding a little extra vinegar or sugar can help balance the sauce to better suit your preference.

What other vegetables can I add to this dish?

Adding other vegetables can enhance the dish’s flavor and nutritional value. Consider including onions for a bit of sharpness, carrots for sweetness and crunch, or pineapple for a tropical sweetness that complements the tangy sauce very well. These additions not only add flavor but also make the dish more colorful and appealing.

Is there a healthier cooking method than frying?

Baking is a healthier alternative to frying. To bake, preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F). Arrange the battered chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil. Bake until the coating is golden and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. This method reduces the oil content significantly.

How can I ensure my chicken is crispy?

For crispy chicken, ensure the oil is sufficiently hot before you start frying—around 180°C (356°F) works well. Avoid overcrowding the pan, as too many pieces can lower the temperature of the oil, leading to soggy batter. Fry in small batches and let the oil come back to temperature between each batch.

What country did sweet and sour chicken come from?

Sweet and sour chicken originated in China. It’s a popular dish in Chinese cuisine. The recipe combines sweet and tangy flavors, which are typical in many Chinese dishes. Over time, it has been adapted worldwide, especially in Western countries. These adaptations often include ingredients like pineapple and green bell peppers, adding unique twists to the traditional recipe.

Conclusion

Mary Berry’s Sweet and Sour Chicken is a fantastic dish that combines ease with a gourmet flair. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this recipe is sure to impress with its perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, encased in a crisp exterior. Enjoy the cooking and the delightful meal!

Mary Berry Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Mary Berry Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people
Calories 370 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Chicken: 500g cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Bell Peppers: 200g total a mixture of green and red, cubed

For the Batter:

  • All-purpose flour: 100g
  • Cornflour: 50g
  • Baking powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Egg white: from 1 large egg
  • Chilled water: as needed to make the batter

For the Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  • Tomato ketchup: 100ml
  • Sugar: 3 tbsp
  • White vinegar: 3 tbsp
  • Dark soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Oil: for deep frying as needed

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Batter: In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg white and gradually mix in chilled water until the batter is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Batter the Chicken: Dip the chicken pieces into the batter, ensuring each piece is well coated.
  • Fry the Chicken: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pan to 180°C (356°F). Carefully drop the battered chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Make the Sauce: In a saucepan, mix together tomato ketchup, sugar, white vinegar, and dark soy sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Combine Chicken and Sauce: Toss the crispy chicken and cubed bell peppers into the sauce. Stir well to ensure all pieces are nicely coated.
  • Serve: Serve hot, garnished with sesame seeds or spring onions if desired.

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