The week after my first baby was born a few friends from church took turns bringing us dinner for a few nights. One of the meals brought to us was this sweet and sour chicken. It really hit the spot and has remained a family favorite for the last 22 years. I have passed it on, by sharing it with many other friends and family. It has also become a staple for our New Years Eve Chinese food dinner we always make.

You can start with Chicken breasts and cut them down into large strips. I prefer to buy a large family pack of fresh chicken tenderloins. Half of them I freeze in a single layer on a silpat, then move to a Ziploc freezer bag to use later. With the other half I keep out of the freezer and ready to make something like this sweet and sour chicken.

It is helpful to pat dry with paper towels, if they are wet. Season the chicken with garlic powder and a little salt.

The chicken is going to be dipped and coated in the flour, then the beaten eggs, and placed into a hot pan with a little oil. I set up an assembly line.

Cook the chicken in a single layer, turning each piece till they are golden brown on all sides.

They will still be raw in the center. This stage is meant to just get the breading crisp and golden so it can soak up the sweet and sour sauce as it bakes.


Once all the chicken is battered and browned, and placed into a casserole dish, mix all the sauce ingredients and heat till simmering. This meal makes great leftovers, and I usually double the sauce because we love the sauce. It doesn’t need to boil, but at least a simmer to make sure all the sugar dissolves.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through cooking.

Serve over rice.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Better than take out, and easy to make to share with family and friends.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6 people


  • cup Canola Oil or other cooking oil
  • 3-4 Eggs beaten
  • 2½-3 pounds Chicken Breasts cut into large strips, like tenderloins
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • cups Flour
  • 2-3 cups Rice, cooked for serving


  • ¼ cup Pineapple Juice
  • ¾ cup White Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoon Ketchup
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Prep chicken by patting the cut pieces dry with paper towels and spread them out on a large plate or baking sheet. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder and salt. Set chicken aside while you prep for cooking.
  • Place the flour into a small dish, I use a pie plate. Place the eggs into a small dish, and lightly beat. Heat a large frying pan. Put just a few tablespoons of oil in in pan at a time. As you brown the chicken you will need more.
  • One at a time coat each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip and coat in the eggs, then carefully lay in the hot pan with a little bit of the oil at time. Lay all the pieces in a single layer. Turn over with a fork when they are golden brown. Add in more pieces as others are finished and removed. Add more oil as needed.
  • Place the browned and breaded chicken pieces into a large baking dish. After all the pieces are browned, then combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. **Sometimes I double the sauce because we like a lot of it over the rice and chicken. Heat till it starts to simmer. Slowly pour the sauce over the chicken.
  • Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over about halfway through cooking. This helps the sauce soak into all sides of the chicken.
  • Serve over hot rice.
Keyword chicken, family dinner, New Years Eve