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Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Looking for a new spin on the traditional chicken dinner? This sticky sweet and sour chicken recipe brings a delightful combination of sweetness, tanginess, and savory flavors to your table. Tender chicken breasts are marinated in a unique mix of apricot preserves, Russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix. Baked to perfection, this dish promises a taste that will leave you wanting more.

Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
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Photos of Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

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The ingredients for this recipe are fairly common and can be found in most supermarkets. However, the Russian-style salad dressing might not be a staple in every pantry, but it brings a distinctive taste to the dish. It's typically found in the salad dressing section of the grocery store. You might also not have apricot preserves on hand. These can be found in the jams and jellies section.

Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

Apricot preserves: Adds the sweet component of the dish. The fruity flavor pairs well with the savory chicken and provides a delicious contrast.

Russian-style salad dressing: Gives the dish a tangy kick. It's creamy, slightly sweet, and has a bit of a bite.

Dry onion soup mix: Adds depth and savoriness to the dish. It's a blend of dry onions, salt, onion powder, and various spices.

Chicken breast halves: The star of the dish. They're lean, healthy and absorb the flavors of the marinade exceptionally well.

One reader, Jonie Seaman says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This sticky sweet and sour chicken recipe is a game-changer! The blend of apricot preserves and Russian-style dressing creates a mouthwatering glaze that's simply irresistible. The chicken turns out tender and juicy, and the flavors are out of this world. It's a definite crowd-pleaser and a new family favorite!

Jonie Seaman

Key Techniques for Mastering Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

How to marinate the chicken: Combine the apricot preserves, Russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix in a bowl, then pour the mixture into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts, coat them with the marinade, remove excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.

How to bake the chicken: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the chicken and marinade into a 12x9-inch baking dish. Bake in the oven, basting regularly, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.

How to serve: Serve the sticky sweet and sour chicken warm over rice. Enjoy!

How To Make Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

You only need four ingredients to make this chicken recipe! It’s packed with tender chicken in a sweet and creamy apricot dressing for a heartier meal.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 12ozapricot preserves,(1 jar)
  • 10ozRussian-style salad dressing,(1 bottle), like Wishbone®
  • 1ozdry onion soup mix,(1 package)
  • 8chicken breast halves,skinless, boneless

Instructions

  1. Whisk the apricot preserves, Russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix together in a bowl. Pour into a resealable plastic bag.

  2. Add the chicken breasts, coat with the marinade, then squeeze to remove excess air and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  4. Dump the chicken and marinade into a 12×9-inch baking dish.

  5. Bake in the oven, basting regularly, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.

  6. Serve warm over rice, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 422.04kcal
  • Fat: 25.90g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.55g
  • Trans Fat: 0.09g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.57g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 10.25g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.58g
  • Fiber: 0.36g
  • Sugar: 19.51g
  • Protein: 18.70g
  • Cholesterol: 55.68mg
  • Sodium: 356.77mg
  • Calcium: 23.14mg
  • Potassium: 252.53mg
  • Iron: 0.90mg
  • Vitamin A: 25.17µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.86mg

Expert Technique Tip for Perfecting Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

To ensure your chicken is juicy and tender, avoid overcooking it. Overcooking can make the chicken tough and dry. Using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is a great way to ensure it's cooked just right. Also, marinating the chicken for a longer period will allow the flavors to penetrate more deeply, resulting in a more flavorful dish.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

Prep ahead: Prepare the marinade the night before and marinate the chicken overnight for maximum flavor infusion.

Use pre-cut chicken: Save time by using pre-cut chicken pieces instead of cutting them yourself.

One-pan cooking: Opt for a baking dish that can also be used for marinating, reducing the number of dishes to clean.

Batch cooking: Make a double batch and freeze half for a quick and easy meal on another day.

Quick cleanup: Line the baking dish with foil for easy cleanup after cooking.

Efficient basting: Use a basting brush to evenly distribute the marinade, saving time and reducing waste.

Pre-cooked rice: Use pre-cooked or instant rice to cut down on cooking time and simplify the meal preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

  • Apricot preserves - Substitute with mango chutney: Mango chutney has a similar sweet and tangy flavor that can replace apricot preserves in the recipe.

  • Russian-style salad dressing - Substitute with French dressing: French dressing has a similar tangy and sweet flavor profile that can work as a substitute for Russian-style salad dressing.

  • Dry onion soup mix - Substitute with homemade onion soup mix: Making a homemade onion soup mix using dried onion flakes, beef bouillon, and seasonings can replace the store-bought dry onion soup mix.

  • Chicken breast - Substitute with tofu: Tofu can be used as a vegetarian alternative to chicken in this recipe, absorbing the flavors of the sauce while providing a similar texture.

Presenting Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken for Maximum Appeal

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the chicken pieces in a visually appealing manner on the plate, ensuring that each piece is presented with care and attention to detail.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the dish with freshly chopped chives or parsley to add a pop of color and a touch of freshness to the presentation.
  3. Incorporate contrasting textures: Consider adding a side of crispy, thinly sliced vegetables or a delicate microgreen salad to provide a textural contrast to the tender chicken.
  4. Utilize elegant serving ware: Choose sophisticated and refined serving dishes that complement the dish and elevate the overall dining experience.
  5. Create a harmonious composition: Pay attention to the balance and composition of the plate, ensuring that the elements are arranged in a visually appealing and harmonious manner.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Apricot preserves: A sweet and sticky fruit spread made from apricots, used to add a rich and fruity flavor to the dish.
  • Russian-style salad dressing: A creamy and tangy dressing typically made with mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and seasonings, adding a unique flavor to the chicken.
  • Dry onion soup mix: A blend of dehydrated onions, herbs, and seasonings, providing a savory and aromatic element to the marinade.
  • Resealable plastic bag: Used for marinating the chicken, allowing the marinade to evenly coat the meat and infuse it with flavor.
  • 12x9-inch baking dish: A baking vessel used to cook the chicken and marinade in the oven, ensuring even cooking and easy cleanup.
  • Instant-read thermometer: A tool for checking the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Storing and Freezing Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken: A Guide

  • Let the chicken cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the dish soggy.

  • Store leftover sticky sweet and sour chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the chicken and sauce in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).

  • To freeze, place the cooled chicken and sauce in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and contents. Freeze for up to 3 months.

  • When ready to eat, thaw the frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a baking dish, covered with foil, at 350°F until heated through (about 30-40 minutes). Note: The texture of the chicken may change slightly after freezing and reheating, but the flavor will still be delicious.

  • If you plan to freeze the dish, consider cooking the rice separately and freezing it in a separate container. This will allow you to reheat the chicken and rice independently, ensuring the best texture for each component.

How To Reheat Leftover Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover sticky sweet and sour chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture in the chicken and prevents it from drying out.

  • If you prefer a crispier texture, you can reheat the chicken in a skillet on the stovetop. Add a small amount of oil to the skillet and heat it over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are heated through and the exterior is slightly crispy.

  • For a quick and easy option, you can use the microwave to reheat your leftover chicken. Place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. This will help to keep the chicken moist during the reheating process. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. Be sure to check the chicken every 30 seconds to avoid overheating and drying it out.

  • If you have leftover rice to serve with your reheated chicken, you can add a small amount of water or chicken broth to the rice before reheating it in the microwave. This will help to restore moisture and prevent the rice from becoming dry or clumpy.

  • To add a fresh twist to your leftover chicken, try shredding it and using it as a filling for tacos, burritos, or sandwiches. The sweet and sour flavors of the chicken will complement a variety of different dishes and help to create a new and exciting meal.

Interesting Trivia About Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

The recipe for sticky sweet and sour chicken is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, known for its combination of sweet and tangy flavors. It is often made with apricot preserves, which add a unique fruity sweetness to the dish. This recipe is a great example of how different flavors can come together to create a delicious and satisfying meal.

Is Making Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken at Home Cost-Effective?

This sticky sweet and sour chicken recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are affordable and readily available, making it a budget-friendly option. The combination of apricot preserves, russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix creates a flavorful marinade that enhances the taste of the chicken. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 8 out of 10. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it an economical choice for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Is Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Healthy or Unhealthy?

This recipe for sticky sweet and sour chicken is not particularly healthy. The main concerns are:

  • High sugar content from the apricot preserves
  • Excessive sodium from the Russian-style salad dressing and onion soup mix
  • Lack of vegetables or other nutrient-dense ingredients
  • The cooking method (baking with marinade) may result in the chicken absorbing more fat and sugar

While chicken breast is a lean protein source, the other ingredients overshadow its nutritional benefits. The dish is likely to be high in calories, sugar, and sodium, which can contribute to various health issues if consumed regularly.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of apricot preserves and replace some with fresh, diced apricots for natural sweetness and added fiber
  • Opt for a low-sodium, low-fat Russian-style salad dressing or create a homemade version with healthier ingredients
  • Replace the onion soup mix with a blend of dried onion flakes, garlic powder, and herbs to reduce sodium content
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and carrots to the baking dish for increased nutrient density
  • Serve the chicken with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad to balance out the meal

By incorporating these changes, you can create a more well-rounded and nutritious version of the sticky sweet and sour chicken while still enjoying its flavors.

The Editor's Take on This Delightful Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

The combination of apricot preserves, Russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix creates a unique and flavorful marinade for the chicken. The sweet and tangy flavors complement the chicken beautifully, resulting in a sticky, sweet, and sour dish that is sure to impress. The cooking method ensures the chicken stays moist and tender, making it a delightful main course. This recipe is a great way to add a twist to traditional chicken dishes and is perfect for a family dinner or special occasion.

Enhance Your Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for soaking up the sweet and tangy sauce of the chicken
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, adding a refreshing contrast to the sticky sweet and sour chicken
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze: Crispy Brussels sprouts drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, providing a delightful crunch alongside the tender chicken

Delicious Alternatives to Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry: This spicy beef stir-fry is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines tender beef with a medley of fresh vegetables and a spicy sauce. It's perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Mango Coconut Chicken Curry: This mango coconut chicken curry is a delicious and aromatic dish that combines tender chicken with sweet mango and creamy coconut milk. It's a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi: This lemon garlic shrimp scampi is a light and refreshing dish that features succulent shrimp cooked in a zesty lemon garlic sauce. It's a perfect option for a quick and elegant dinner.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken

Appetizers:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Creamy and indulgent, this dip is the perfect way to start off any meal. The combination of spinach, artichokes, and cheese creates a rich and flavorful appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more.
Stuffed Mushrooms: These bite-sized delights are packed with a savory filling that will tantalize your taste buds. With a perfect balance of flavors and textures, these stuffed mushrooms are sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of apple crisp, with tender baked apples and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.

Why trust this Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe:

This recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, combining the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors. The combination of apricot preserves, russian-style salad dressing, and dry onion soup mix creates a unique and irresistible marinade that infuses the chicken breast with incredible flavor. The marinade ensures that the chicken stays moist and tender while baking, resulting in a juicy and succulent dish. The simplicity of the recipe makes it accessible to all levels of home cooks, and the end result is a dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Sticky Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
What can I use as a substitute for Russian-style salad dressing?
You can substitute Russian-style salad dressing with French or Catalina dressing. You can also make your own by mixing mayonnaise, ketchup, and a touch of vinegar.
Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast halves?
Yes, you can absolutely use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast halves. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly as thighs may require a bit longer to cook through.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later. Simply store the cooked chicken and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat in the oven or on the stovetop until warmed through.
Can I use fresh apricots instead of apricot preserves?
While fresh apricots can be used, apricot preserves provide a thicker consistency and a more concentrated flavor. If using fresh apricots, you may need to adjust the sweetness and thickness of the sauce with additional sugar or cornstarch.
Can I freeze the sticky sweet and sour chicken?
Yes, you can freeze the sticky sweet and sour chicken. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

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