Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken


Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken: A Delicious Journey

Sweet and sour chicken has always been a comforting dish that brings a blend of tangy and sweet flavors to your palate. Imagine this: tender chicken pieces, golden and crispy on the outside, soaked in a luscious sweet and sour sauce that perfectly balances flavors. This dish is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a delightful experience to cook. Whether you’re preparing a special dinner for your family or simply indulging yourself, this baked sweet and sour chicken recipe promises to be a hit. Let’s dive into the world of culinary delight and discover how to make this dish perfect every time.

Ingredients Overview


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces: Chicken breasts are lean and become beautifully tender when baked. Cutting them into bite-sized pieces ensures every piece gets coated evenly with the sauce.


  • 1 cup corn starch: This gives the chicken pieces a light, crispy coating when seared.
  • 2 large eggs: Used for dipping the chicken pieces to help the cornstarch adhere and create a crispy texture.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil: Essential for searing the chicken to a golden brown perfection.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar: Provides the sweet component in the sauce, balancing the tanginess.
  • 1/4 cup ketchup: Adds a rich tomato flavor and deepens the color of the sauce.
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar: The source of the tangy flavor, giving the dish its signature zing.
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce: Adds a savory umami depth to the sauce.
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder: Infuses the sauce with a subtle garlic flavor.
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt: Enhances all the flavors and ties them together.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat and Prepare:

Preheat your oven to 325°F and line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper. This helps in easy cleanup and prevents the chicken from sticking to the pan.

2. Season the Chicken:

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. This step is crucial to ensure that every bite is flavorful.

3. Coat the Chicken:

Add the cornstarch to a large Ziploc bag, then add the chicken pieces. Shake well to coat each piece thoroughly. This step ensures a crispy exterior once the chicken is seared.

4. Dip in Eggs:

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces into the beaten eggs. This creates a binding layer that helps in achieving a crispy texture.

5. Sear the Chicken:

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it sizzles. Add the chicken pieces and sear them until golden brown on all sides. This locks in the juices and gives the chicken a beautiful golden crust.

6. Prepare the Sauce:

In a medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt. Whisk until all ingredients are well blended. This sauce is the heart of the dish, combining sweet and sour flavors perfectly.

7. Bake the Chicken:

Place the seared chicken pieces in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken. Bake for 1 hour, turning the chicken pieces halfway through. This allows the sauce to penetrate the chicken, making it tender and flavorful.

8. Serve:

Serve the baked sweet and sour chicken hot, paired with steamed rice or your favorite side dish. The combination of tender chicken and rich sauce is irresistible.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?
Yes, chicken thighs work well and stay juicy.

2. Is there a substitute for apple cider vinegar?
White vinegar or rice vinegar can be used.

3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, it reheats well.

4. Is this recipe gluten-free?
Ensure your cornstarch and soy sauce are gluten-free.

5. Can I freeze leftovers?
Yes, store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

6. What sides go well with this dish?
Steamed vegetables, fried rice, or a simple salad.

7. Can I reduce the sugar?
Yes, but it will alter the flavor balance.

8. How do I know when the chicken is done?
It should be golden and reach an internal temp of 165°F.

9. Can I use honey instead of sugar?
Yes, but the sauce will be thicker and sweeter.

10. What if I don’t have garlic powder?
You can use minced fresh garlic.

11. How can I make the sauce thicker?
Simmer it on the stovetop to reduce.

12. Can I add vegetables?
Yes, bell peppers and pineapple are great additions.

13. Is there a vegetarian version?
Use tofu or cauliflower instead of chicken.

14. Can I use this sauce for other meats?
Yes, it works well with pork and shrimp.

15. How do I make it spicier?
Add chili flakes or sriracha to the sauce.

16. Can I use brown sugar instead of white?
Yes, it will give a richer flavor.

17. How do I store leftovers?
In an airtight container in the fridge.

18. Can I double the recipe?
Yes, adjust cooking time as needed.

19. Do I need to flip the chicken halfway?
Yes, to ensure even cooking.

20. Can I use a different type of oil?
Yes, but vegetable oil has a neutral flavor ideal for this recipe.

Helpful Tips

1. Use a meat thermometer:
Ensure the chicken reaches 165°F internally.

2. Don’t overcrowd the skillet:
This ensures even searing.

3. Use fresh garlic if available:
It enhances the flavor.

4. Pre-cut chicken:
Saves prep time.

5. Use low-sodium soy sauce:
Controls saltiness.

6. Marinate chicken for an hour:
For deeper flavor.

7. Pat chicken dry:
Before coating to help cornstarch stick.

8. Shake off excess cornstarch:
Prevents clumping.

9. Warm eggs to room temperature:
Coats chicken better.

10. Adjust sauce to taste:
Balance sweetness and tanginess.

11. Use parchment paper:
For easy cleanup.

12. Rest chicken before cutting:
Keeps juices inside.

13. Serve with fresh herbs:
Like cilantro for added freshness.

14. Stir sauce occasionally:
While baking for even coating.

15. Use a glass baking dish:
It bakes evenly.

16. Let sauce cool before serving:
It thickens as it cools.

17. Store sauce separately:
If making ahead.

18. Add sesame seeds:
For a crunchy texture.

19. Pair with jasmine rice:
Complements the flavors well.

20. Use a whisk for the sauce:
Ensures a smooth blend.

Storage and Reheating Tips

1. Store in an airtight container:
Keeps it fresh.

2. Refrigerate within 2 hours:
To prevent bacterial growth.

3. Use within 3-4 days:
For best quality.

4. Freeze in portions:
For easy reheating.

5. Thaw overnight in fridge:
For even reheating.

6. Reheat in oven at 350°F:
For 20 minutes or until hot.

7. Microwave reheating:
Use a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat on medium.

8. Add a splash of water:
When reheating to keep it moist.

9. Stir halfway through reheating:
For even heating.

10. Avoid reheating multiple times:
Reduces quality.

Recipe Secrets

1. Use fresh, high-quality chicken:
Ensures tenderness.

2. Pre-marinate chicken:
For enhanced flavor.

3. Double coat with cornstarch:
For extra crispiness.

4. Add pineapple chunks:
For a tropical twist.

5. Use light brown sugar:
For a deeper caramel flavor.

6. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce:
For complexity.

7. Use a cast iron skillet:
For even searing.

8. Try rice vinegar:
For a milder tang.

9. Use organic ketchup:
For a purer taste.

10. Add ginger powder:
For a subtle warmth.

11. Sear in batches:
Prevents steaming and ensures crispiness.

12. Let chicken rest after searing:
Keeps it juicy.

13. Baste chicken during baking:
For an extra flavorful coating.

14. Use a cooling rack in the pan:
Elevates chicken for even baking.

15. Add red chili flakes:
For a spicy kick.

16. Garnish with green onions:
For freshness.

17. Use a squeeze of lime:
Before serving for zestiness.

18. Make extra sauce:
For dipping or extra coating.

19. Mix in sesame oil:
For a nutty flavor.

20. Let sauce reduce on stovetop:
For a thicker consistency.

Extra Sections to Enhance Content

Nutrition Information:

Provide detailed nutritional info per serving.

Serving Suggestions:

Ideas on how to plate and what to pair it with.


Different takes on the recipe for variety.

Cooking with Kids:

Tips for involving kids in the cooking process.

Leftover Ideas:

Creative ways to use leftovers.

By following this detailed and enriched recipe, you’re sure to create a baked sweet and sour chicken that not only tastes amazing but also provides a delightful cooking experience. Enjoy the process and savor the flavors!

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