Pineapple Chicken

Pineapple Chicken
Pineapple Chicken Header

Chinese Pineapple Chicken that is better than any takeout. When you need your fix for some Chinese Food, this is one of those dishes. It’s a nice change up from the Classic Chinese Red Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls. It’s just so good.

The Chicken can be prepared in a few different ways. With the same Beautiful Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce and bits of Pineapple throughout.

  • Make it with Crispy Deep Fried Chicken Balls for the Classic
  • Cornstarch coated and fried
  • Diced Chicken Stir Fry
  • Seared or Grilled Chicken Breast.

Either way you make it, the flavor of Chicken & Pineapple, especially this Pineapple Sauce is just Phenomenal.

Chinese Restaurants have changed

I don’t know what it is about Chinese Restaurants, well I do, it’s to save money but at a cost of quality. You use to get Chicken Balls that were a good size, about 4 – 6 of them per serving. Nowadays the Chicken is about 1/4 – 1/2 inch and mostly batter with preordered Sauces and you only get 2 – 3 of them, maybe 4. They use to be about 1 inch diced with Sauce that was made in house. What a big difference now.

With this recipe you can make them how they are suppose to be made, with a focus on Quality. Big Chunks of Chicken coated in a Batter resulting in Golden Crispy Chicken Balls that are mostly Chicken instead of Batter. Coated in a Beautiful in Homemade Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce.

Pineapple Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Oil
  • Batter or Cornstarch – if deep frying
  • Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce

Chicken Breasts

The Chicken Breasts can be prepared a few different ways. Depending on what kind of Chinese Pineapple Chicken you want. The Classic is the Crispy Chicken Balls. Dice the Chicken Breasts into 1 inch pieces for a big mouthful.

Diced Chicken Breast

Diced Chicken Breasts

Dice the Chicken Breast into 1 inch pieces for Battered and Deep Fried Crispy Chicken Balls.

Dice about 1/2 inch for Stir Fried. Either coated in Cornstarch and Fried in Oil or Stir Fried with no coating and a small amount of Oil. With Onions & Peppers.

Chicken Breast Fillets

Seared or Grilled Chicken Breasts

Slice each Chicken Breast in half and pound out to an even thickness.

Brush with Oil and season lightly with Salt & Pepper. Either Sear or Grill the Chicken Breast Fillets.

Salt & Pepper

No matter how you prepare the Chicken you can season it lightly with a Salt & Pepper Blend to add more flavor to the Chicken itself.

Salt & Pepper Seasoning

Salt & Pepper Blend Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper

Crispy Chicken Balls

Deep fried Chicken Balls coated in that Deep Fry Batter that just creates amazing Chicken Balls that can stay Crispy even coated in the Hot Pineapple Sauce for quite some time.

Make up the below Batter and add your Chicken or Season the Chicken with a bit of Salt & Pepper to toss and coat before deep frying.

Chinese Pork Balls

Deep Fry Batter

  • 1/2 C Poly Flour – not packed
  • 1/2 C Cornstarch
  • 1/2 C Water plus more if needed to get the desired consistency

Poly Flour Ingredients

Below are the Ingredients for the Poly Flour. Just toss everything into a Dough mixer or food processor and blend everything together. Store leftover Poly Flour in a container. Cover and placed in the cupboards, pantry or refrigerator to use for other recipes.

Poly Flour

Poly Flour

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Lard
  • 2 Tbl Baking Powder & Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Kosher Salt

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce

The Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce is made from a whole Pineapple. For a Quick & Easy version, use 3 cups of Pineapple Juice instead of 1 C of Water and a whole Pineapple. Optionally with canned Pineapples so you can chop into pieces and add to the Sauce.

Pineapple Sauce

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce

  • 1 C Water
  • 1 Pineapple 
  • 1/4 C Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Galangal 
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Grass
  • 1Lime Leaf 

Thickened with a Starch Slurry of 3 Tbl of Potato Starch & Water each.

Starch Slurry

If serving the Pineapple Sauce over Chicken Balls, Chicken coated in Cornstarch or Seared/Grilled Chicken, then 3 Tbl each of Starch & Water is pretty good for a nice thick Sauce. Add a little bit of water if needed to adjust the consistency.

With Stir Fry add just enough Starch Slurry to get a slightly thinner Sauce. Where it can cover the Chicken and Vegetables but not coat it like it does with the Chicken Balls. You’re looking for a Chop Suey type Sauce.

Potato Starch Slurry

Starch Slurry

The Starch Slurry is a combination of equal amounts of Potato or Corn Starch & Cold Water. This is added a little at a time while the Sauce is simmering and whisked in until the desired thickness is achieved.

  • 3 Tbl Starch
  • 3 Tbl Cold Water

How to make Chinese Pineapple Chicken

Make both the Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce & Deep Fry Batter in advance. Make the Poly Flour first since this is needed for the Deep Fry batter.

Deep Fry in a Wok with a Thermometer to gauge temperatures more accurately. A Deep Fryer will cause the Chicken Balls to get stuck because of the basket.

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce with Pineapple bits

Pineapple Sauce

Prepare the Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce. Set this aside to be reheated again before drizzling over the Chicken.

Deep Fry Batter

Deep Fry Batter

Prepare the Deep Fry Batter and dice the Chicken into 1 inch Pieces. Add the Chicken to the Deep Fry Batter.

Optionally season the Chicken with Salt & Pepper to toss and then add to the Batter.

Deep Fried Chicken Balls

Deep Fry

Fill a Wok about one third or halfway with Oil and heat to 350 F – 375 F.

Coat the Chicken and gently drop into the Hot Oil. Give it a few seconds to crisp up the coating and nudge from the bottom if needed.

Flip them around every so often and Deep Fry for 5 – 8 minutes. Scoop them out with a spider and place them on a wired rack. Repeat for remaining Chicken.

Spider

Scooping out the Chicken Balls

You can remove them one by one with a pair of tongs, but I really find the Spider works exceptionally well and use this quite often when deep frying in a Wok.

Pineapple Chicken

Pineapple Chicken Balls

Reheat the Pineapple Sauce adding more water if needed to thin it out and serve over the Chicken Balls.

Pineapple Chicken Pin

Pineapple Chicken

Chinese Pineapple Chicken that is better than any takeout. When you need your fix for some Chinese Food, this is one that just needs too be had every so often.
Good sized Crispy Chicken Balls coated in that Phenomenal Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sauce with bits of Pineapple.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Chinese Pineapple Chicken, Pineapple Chicken, Pineapple Chicken Balls, Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken
Servings: 4 portions
Author: JAH

Equipment

  • 1 Wok
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Spider
  • 1 Thermometer
  • 1 Rack
  • 1 Saucepot

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare and cook the Sweet & Sour Pineapple Sauce.
    Prepare the Deep Fry Batter.
  • Heat a Wok up over max heat filled with Oil about 1/3 or 1/2 way with a thermometer fitted in order to control the heat more accurately.
  • Dice the Chicken into 1 inch cubes. Optionally season lightly with Salt & Pepper and toss. Add the Chicken into the Batter and mix.
  • When the Oil reaches 375 F drop in half of the Chicken into the Hot Oil gently.
    Wash your hands and then nudge any Chicken Balls off of the bottom that may be stuck.
    The Oil temperature will drop when the Chicken is added. Try to keep it at 350 F – 375 F by reducing the heat to Medium and back to Max when needed.
  • Deep Fry for 5 – 8 minutes and scoop out with a spider unto a rack to drain off excess grease. Repeat for the remaining Chicken.
    Once all of the Chicken balls have been cooked. Plate them and heat the Pineapple Sauce to ladle over hot and serve.
    You may have to add a bit of water to thin it out.
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