Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne's Version) & Stray Gathering

January 24, 2014

Holy cow....the wind is howling again today! It makes me wonder how it can just continue to do this for days on end. One good thing about the wind.....the gumbo is dried out! Hooray....happy dance! Oh yeah....and my migraine is finally over...another reason to celebrate!

 

Yesterday, I was on day 2 of a migraine, but life had to go on. I did some cooking (Sweet & Sour Chicken for supper) and before that I rode my best boy, Doc. I am committed to riding him every day until the 30th as we are getting ready for the Black Hills Stock Show Stray Gathering. Time to get us both in a little better shape. I explained the Stray Gathering a bit before, but I'll do it again.

 

There is a 2 minute time limit. 4 cowboys/cowgirls gather at one end of the arena. 2 critters (steers or heifers) are let out of a pen at the other end. The 4 riders break off into pairs and each goes after their own critter. The steer must be headed (roped by the horns, head, or half of a head) and heeled (roped by one or two legs).....then it must be tied up (3 legs crossed) and the rope must be off the head before time is called.  Here is my husband, Shane, and his partner Andy Selle roping their steer last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic Open Stray Gathering:

 

 Sometimes even though the steer is headed and heeled....they get up. Before they get away you have to "dog" them down again. Here is Shane doing just that. I have to laugh at this picture.....you sure can see the action....and that mud....well, I don't know if any of our clothes came completely clean after two days of that mud!

 

 

They were victorious and their team won first! Here they are....all smiles....and mud!

 

 

From left to right:  Jeff Lien, Travis Nitsch, Shane Wilson & Andy Selle.

 

Anyway, the critters must stay tied for 6 seconds. It is a really fun event to watch and it's even more fun to be in it! I'm so excited as this year the ladies have their own division (all girl). I helped to get some prizes rounded up for this event (Cowgirl Swank even donated 4 caps) with hopes that it would fill up and bring more awareness to ladies doing this event. I'm happy to say that it is full! There will be 10 teams of women competing. The only difference is that the gals only have to tie down one critter. They still have to head and heel both, but then all 4 gals can help each other get the job done. Tying a steer down is not for the weak of heart.....I know. I get a grin on my face as I'm typing this because this is seriously my favorite event. Anything that involves tying down a steer is at the top of the list for me! I am woman....here me ROAR!!! :)

 

Here's the Cowgirl Swank team in the tie down/mugging (same thing as the stray gathering pretty much) last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic.....yes, that steer got dogged down....here that roar, now?! :)

 

 

Our team members were:  Heidi Cuny, Jessica Cuny, Randi, Selle & Me

 

To say the least, I'm excited about the upcoming BHSS Stray Gathering on the 30th. I'm going to try to have a friend take lots of pictures so I can report on how it went. Stay tuned for that!

 

So, last night I decided on making Sweet & Sour Chicken. This recipe has been around our family for a LONG time.....like, when I was a kid LONG time ago. My mom started out making it and I continued the tradition. I think my mom originally got the recipe from a magazine, but I have no idea which one. Here is the original photo copy I have of my mom's recipe:

 

 

It has been changed significantly and has morphed into something absolutely to die for (in my opinion).  You can use chicken or pork (whatever suits you). This isn't like the stuff you get at a Chinese restaurant....it's entirely different. And guess what.....my cowboy doesn't turn his nose up at it! :) So, here goes:

 

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne's Version)

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, Diced

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 2 Green Peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 Purple Onions, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 16 oz. can of Tomato Sauce

  • ½ cup packed Brown Sugar

  • ½ cup of Red Wine Vinegar

  • 1 20-oz. can of Pineapple Chunks in its own juice

  • ½ cup water

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 2-3 Tablespoons KAF’s Signature Secrets or 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

  • 3 Cups of Water (to boil Rice in)

  • 3 Cups of Rice

Cut up Chicken and brown it in a skillet with the olive oil

 

 

As it is browning, cut up vegetables. After the chicken is about half done add the vegetables.

 

 

Stir well and cook over medium heat. Once vegetables are cooked, add pineapple chunks in their own juice 

 

 

and then the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, water, and salt/pepper to your liking.

 

 

I also taste test this to see if it is sweet enough. If not, I add a bit more brown sugar. Let simmer.

 

 

Boil water in a covered pot and add the rice (I use Minute Rice). Remove from heat. After everything has cooked together in the skillet, add the Signature Secrets or cornstarch.

 

 

Stir well, lower heat and let sit. It will thicken upon standing.

 

The rice should be done after about 5 minutes of sitting. Serve rice and top with the Sweet & Sour Chicken. 

 

 

Enjoy!! This is delicious....even more so left over....in fact, we are having the leftovers for lunch today. I always try to put these leftovers in an oven-safe dish so that I can warm it slowly in the oven. Microwaving chicken tends to make it rubbery (and my cowboy detests that).....so I appease him by doing it in the oven.....Yum! Yum!!

 

 

*Concerning the KAF's Signature Secrets......this is truly a "secret" that I fell into. I began getting King Arthur Flour catalogs 5 or 6 years ago. I was intrigued and I eventually began ordering from them. KAF is one of the best baker catalogs out there in my opinion. Anyway, I stumbled upon Signature Secrets....what is it? It's a thickener....the beauty of it is that it's a powder that when added to hot or cold liquids thickens them. And it thickens them easily without a lot of whisking and no lumps or bumps!! It is an amazing product......which I use a lot! Here is the link to find it online: KAF's Signature Secrets. It is not expensive at all and very worthwhile to have in your kitchen. I believe in sharing secret finds....not keeping them to myself. KAF has no idea that I'm posting this.....would be nice if they saw this and gave me a year's supply of it though...wink, wink!

 

Enjoy your day! I certainly plan too.....I have leftovers and riding Doc to look forward to! ~Cheyenne

 

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