I first learned about this chicken stir fry recipe when I went to a cooking demonstration quite a few years ago. The demonstrator brought along an electric fry pan and had this tasty dish whipped up in no time. We were then all able to have a taste test and it was yummy good! I kept the recipe and I’ve been making it ever since.
This recipe comes together quickly because it does use a few shortcuts – a bag of frozen vegetables, instant rice, and bottled sweet and sour sauce. But it still results in a tasty home cooked dinner that I can get on the table quickly and it makes great leftovers too.
Over the years I’ve tweaked a few things in this recipe. In fact this is why it’s sometimes hard for me to share recipes here on the blog because many times I’m just kind of winging it! But that’s the joy of making your own – you can keep improvising as it suits your needs. For example:
The fry pan . . .
Sometimes I use a skillet on the stove top, but many times I go old school and just get out my trusty electric fry pan. Either one works fine.
The chicken . . .
I usually keep a bag of frozen chicken tenderloins in my freezer. I thaw four or five of the tenderloins in the microwave, and then cook them in the pan, cutting them up as I go. It’s so much easier to cut cooked chicken than raw chicken! But other times I’ve been industrious and have some pre-cooked chopped chicken in my freezer which I’ll thaw and dump into this recipe (probably about 1½ cups cooked chicken). My original recipe called for “one pound boneless, skinless chicken strips”.
The vegetables . . .
My favorite is to use a bag of the broccoli/cauliflower/carrot blend of frozen vegetables but if I have a bag of stir fry vegetables in the freezer, that works fine too. I usually just dump the contents of the bag in a bowl and run some hot water over them to get them thawed out a bit. I’m not very good about remembering to set them out to thaw ahead of time. Fresh vegetables would work too if you prefer that option.
The bouillon . . .
In the early days of making this recipe I used to buy the powdered chicken bouillon but now I prefer chicken “base” and have been using the Better Than Bouillon brand. It seemed I could use a little less of that than the 2 teaspoons called for in the original recipe. Therefore I have listed it below as “1 to 2 teaspoons” and you can adjust it to your taste. The Vegetable Better Than Bouillon would probably be tasty in this recipe too.
The sauce . . .
When I first started making this recipe there was an 8 oz jar of sweet and sour sauce at the stores that was the perfect quantity for this recipe. I would just dump in the contents of the whole jar. I can no longer find whatever brand that was and now have been buying the Sweet Baby Rays brand in a 14 oz size. I just squirt some around the pan until things look nice and saucey, usually using about half the bottle.
Here’s how to do it:
Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
- 1 Lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Strips
- 16 oz Frozen Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrot blend – or – Stir Fry Blend (thawed)
- 8 oz can Pineapple Chunks (save juice)
- Water (approx 1-1/4 cups)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Chicken Base – or – Chicken Bouillon
- 1-1/2 cups Instant Rice
- Sweet & Sour Sauce (approx 8 oz)
Spray a fry pan with cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink. (I cut the chicken into smaller bite sized pieces as I go).
Next add the vegetables and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. (I usually cut the vegetables into slightly smaller pieces too).
Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice in a 2 cup size measuring cup. Add the pineapple chunks to the pan.
To the reserved pineapple juice, add water to make 1½ cups. Add to the pan.
Stir the chicken base (or bouillon) into the pan.
Increase heat if needed to bring the liquid in the pan to a boil. Stir in the instant rice and let it come to a boil again.
Reduce the heat and cover. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes so the rice can absorb the liquid.
Finally, stir in the sweet and sour sauce, increasing the heat again if needed to get things warm and bubbly.
Serve and enjoy.