Chinese food has been a weakness for me since I first tasted it. Fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, general tso’s, chow mein. Everything I can’t have on a ketogenic diet. If you’re missing the fried rice, don’t fret – you can make an accompanying Cauliflower Fried Rice!
Through the years I have built up a resistance to Chinese food, eventually not getting cravings for it and not even thinking about it. The other day I was surfing the internet and saw a picture of some delicious looking sweet and sour chicken. All of those memories of Chinese food flooded back to my mind, making me crave anything that even resembled a piece of orange chicken.
After that, I saught out to re-create one of my all time favorites: Sweet and Sour Chicken. But to make it low carb? Well that’s a challenge, isn’t it. The judgement? It was a winner! Family and friends enjoyed it and between 4 people, 5 1/2 pounds of chicken was eaten in 1 sitting.
We’ll be using Erythritol in this recipe. While they are sugar alcohols, our body doesn’t actually have the enzymes needed to break down and process it, allowing about 90% of it to pass through the body and be excreted through urine.
With baking and cooking, Erythritol gives the best results, hands down. If you use Splenda or Stevia the outcome will be a more liquid consistency and a different taste.
It doesn’t have any connections to tooth decay, which is great, and it doesn’t have an effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. I’ll be using Real Food NOW Erythritol – it’s made by a mom & pop shop, has a low glycemic impact, and is one of the cheaper brands.
Yields 4-5 Pounds of chicken, depending on breast size.
- 5-6 small boneless chicken breasts
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup crushed pork rinds
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sweet & Sour Sauce:
- ½ cup erythritol
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons reduced-sugar ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Cube chicken into ~1″ chunks.
2. In a food processor, combine pork rinds, parmesan cheese, and almond flour. Grind until a meal-like substance is formed. Then, drip the chicken in the egg and coat in the pork rind mixture and set on a plate.
3. Heat the oils in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken in (in small batches) and cook.
4. In the meantime, combine all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and whisk while it boils down.
5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and continue cooking the rest of your batches.
6. In a bowl, pour the sauce over the chicken and mix together to coat.
The Oven [Method 2]
1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
2. Get your chicken breasts ready. If they are thick, pound them thin. You’re looking for about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thickness. I started with 6 and had to separate one of the breasts into 2 pieces. Slice the chicken breasts into cubes. Try to be as uniform as possible, but it doesn’t matter too much.
3. Fill up a Ziploc bag about half way with pork rinds. Add your salt and pepper. I add about 1 tsp. of each.
4. Crush them with a rolling pin well (you want a crumbly texture with only a few larger pieces, your pork rinds should be more crushed than mine). Add your almond flour and parmesan cheese and shake well. Make sure you’re using a fine almond flour. Bob’s Red Mill’s won’t give the texture needed for this, as it’s grainy. I use Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour, which is fantastic for baking treats as well – giving a realistic flavor and texture closer to all purpose flour.
5. Put your pork rinds into 1 bowl, and your 2 eggs into another bowl. Beat your eggs until they’re thoroughly scrambled.
6. In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil on high heat.
7. Dip your chicken breast into the egg and then into the pork rinds and almond flour mixture. Add them to the pan to fry. Don’t worry if your chicken isn’t completely coated. The sauce will help with that and give a nice balance. You don’t want to fully cook them here, you only want to partially fry them so they have a crispy outside.
8. When they’re finished frying, add them to a baking pan. I had to fry 3 different batches of chicken, so don’t worry if you can’t fit it all into 1 pan. We’ll be cooking these in the oven.
9. Let’s get to work on the sauce. Add 4 Tbsp. reduced sugar ketchup, 1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar, 1/2 Cup Erythritol, 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce, and 1 tsp. Garlic powder.
10. Mix the sauce well until it becomes thick.
11. Pour the sauce over the chicken, distributing it the best you can.
12. Mix the chicken into the sauce so that every piece is covered.
13. We want to put this in the oven for 60 minutes total, but flip each piece of chicken every 15 minutes. After 15 minutes your chicken should look like this.
14. 30 minutes in, we need to flip the chicken again, the sauce should start to be reducing and the chicken starting to let out its natural juice. You’ll see a divide in the sauce with the chicken juice on the top. Mix it in well.
15. 45 minutes in, you should start to see the sauce start to harden up a bit, coating each piece of chicken well. Flip the chicken one last time and return it to the oven for 15 more minutes.
16. Once the 60 minutes is finished, the sauce should be reduced down into a thicker and more dippable consistency.
17. Serve up and enjoy! I personally don’t mix the chicken at the end of the 60 minutes. Just spoon it straight onto a plate with broccoli or cauliflower fried rice, adding some more sauce on top.
Per 1.2 Pound Serving, it will have 467 Calories, 32g Fats, 3.9g Net Carbs, and 49g Protein.
|Low Carb Sweet & Sour Chicken||Calories||Fats (g)||Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|6 Small Boneless Chicken Breasts||700||15||0||0||0||125|
|2 Large Eggs, Beaten||140||14||1.4||0||1.4||12|
|1 Cup Crushed Pork Rinds||320||36||0||0||0||36|
|1/2 Cup Almond Flour||320||28||12||6||6||12|
|1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese||110||7||1||0||1||10|
|2 Tbsp. Olive Oil||120||14||0||0||0||0|
|1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil||130||14||0||0||0||0|
|4 Tbsp. Reduced Sugar Ketchup||20||0||4||0||4||0|
|1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce||0||0||1||0||1||1|
|1 tsp. Garlic Powder||9||0||2||0||2||0|