in search of an old recipe...
August 4, 2016 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe that came out of either a Weight Watchers or a Cooking Light cookbook published sometime before the late 90's/early 2000's. Would you happen to know it? More hazily remembered vague details inside...

All the things I remember about the recipe (that probably also apply to a million internet recipes):

-it was called "sweet and sour chicken"
-it was from either a weight watchers cookbook or a cooking light cookbook
-the harcovered book had a red cross-hatched-looking border on it
-ingredients included chicken, garlic, ketchup and soy sauce (possibly carrots too?)
-it required cutting the chicken breast up into bite sized pieces and cooking that in a skillet first
-one step was adding cornstarch towards the end to thicken the sauce

if these things ring a bell, please add your guess! or if you know of any way to see archives of the covers of the books published under these companies, that would be helpful too. thanks in advance!
posted by carlypennylane to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: want to add: it did not have pineapple in it.
posted by carlypennylane at 4:49 PM on August 4, 2016

I thought perhaps it was the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, based on the description of red and white cross hatched cover, but I just checked the sweet and sour chicken recipe in it, and it's not the same. Hopefully that helps with the process of elimination.
posted by instamatic at 5:58 PM on August 4, 2016

Is it possible that it was a sweet and sour pork recipe that was made with chicken? I found this Weight Watchers recipe that includes garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, and corn starch.
posted by charmcityblues at 7:51 PM on August 4, 2016

Here's the oldest Cooking Light recipe for sweet and sour chicken I could find, which meets all criteria except ketchup:


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup dry-roasted chopped cashews


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper, and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken mixture from pan; set aside.

Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to pan, and sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Add 1 cup pineapple chunks to pan; cook 30 seconds. Reserve remaining pineapple for another use. Combine the reserved 1/2 cup juice, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, and sugar in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Return chicken mixture to pan. Stir in juice mixture; bring to boil. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with cashews.
posted by bearwife at 9:09 PM on August 4, 2016

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