Takeout at Home

This sweet and sour chicken will make you think twice before picking up the phone and ordering takeout. It doesn’t get fresher than a hot meal straight out of your own kitchen. It’s so easy.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serves 4 to 6 people


  • 4 cups peanut oil (for frying the chicken)
  • 10 to 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2½ cups seltzer water (we used lemon-lime)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt


Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet to about 325 degrees. It is ready when it shimmers, but don’t let it get so hot it that smokes.

Season chicken with soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

Mix the batter ingredients.

Work your chicken in four separate batches. First, place ¼ of the chicken into the batter to coat, and then drop the chicken piece-by-piece into the hot oil. Fry 7 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely. The time varies depending on how hot your oil is and how big chicken pieces are. Keep cooked pieces of chicken warm in a glass baking dish in a 200-degree oven until you are ready to toss in your sauce and serve.


  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted chili sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cornstarch


To make the sauce, bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Prepare the cornstarch slurry by whisking together cold water and corn starch in a measuring cup. Once the sauce mixture comes to a boil, whisk in the slurry. Turn heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly and has taken on a glossy sheen.

Tip: Start boiling the water when you are making the chicken.

Chow Mein Noodles

It wouldn’t be a true takeout experience without delicious noodles. Here is a simple recipe.


  • 10 ounces chow mein or spaghetti noodles, cooked
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups celery
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped scallions for garnish
  • 1 cup bean sprouts for garnish


Cook noodles al dente according to the package directions. They should have a bite to them. In a large skillet with high sides, sauté vegetables over medium-high heat in ½ the olive oil until they are crisp, yet tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked noodles and remaining ingredients, including the rest of the oil, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, tossing frequently to mix the sauce right in the pan. Once noodles are glossy and sauce has evenly coated the noodles, it’s time to serve!

Tip: You can purchase takeout boxes online to make the experience even more fun!

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