Sweet and Sour Chicken




Have you ever had Sweet and Sour Chicken?

If so, it was likely a small morsel of chicken coated in a large amount of breading and it was served with a fluorescent pink/red dipping sauce. Am I right?

That’s how I’ve known S&S Chicken my whole life. My parents used to love a place called Phil Wong’s in downtown Fargo, ND. They had wontons, they had egg rolls, and they had mass amounts of boldly-breaded chicken!

Today’s recipe leaves the crazy colored sweet and sour sauce behind and looks to maple syrup and rice wine vinegar to provide eponymy. It’s a quick sauté that mimics a stir fry, so be sure your pan is hot and you’ll have this knocked out in no time!

My family and I traveled to Santa Cruz and Gilroy, California over the weekend. It was a wild ride that included delivering Ice Age Meals, smoking ribs for the 16.2 throwdown at CrossFit West, and holding a Cooking Seminar at Coast Range CrossFit. It was a whirlwind filled with friends, lots of rain, and a shut down interstate over Donner Pass as we returned home last night! What would normally take 3.5 hours took 8 hours. It was a great opportunity to bond with “The Jo!” and “The Bro!” in close quarters while defying death on Interstate 80.

I met a lot of new friends and turned 30 people from novices into Culinary Ninjas! I was exhausted this morning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. While cooking food for people is cool, teaching people to cook for themselves is my true passion. I hope that it shines through in today’s video, even if we’re missing some breading and a funky fluorescent colored sauce…

“Keep It Paleo!” my friends.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Hanging with my new crew

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients List:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, large dice
  • 1 2″ knob of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, large dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, large dice
  • 1 ounce fresh basil, leaves pulled from stem
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

      1. Heat a 14″ sauté pan over high heat, add olive oil, ginger, garlic and cook until toasted, approx. 30 seconds
      2. Season chicken with kosher salt and black pepper, add to pan, seasoned side down and season top side.
      3. Add maple syrup and rice wine vinegar to the pan. Cook until liquid is reduced, approx. 3 minutes.
      4. When chicken is coated and liquid almost gone, transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
      5. Return pan to heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onions, and peppers, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook until carmalized, approx. 2 minutes.
      6. Add chicken to pan and fresh basil. Toss and enjoy. * refrigerate up to five days of freeze up to 6 months.

      “Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown


We are using 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Each breast is about 6oz so that gives us 18oz.  After cooking, that will cook down to about 15oz.  One ounce of chicken equals one block so we have 15 blocks of protein.


In a quarter of a cup of ginger, there are 24g.  1 2” knob of ginger equals about ¼ cup. We calculated that there are about 16g in one block of ginger, so therefore we get 1 ½ blocks in a 1/4 cup fresh ginger. We know that about 10 cloves of garlic, equal one block, so since we have 4 cloves garlic, we will call it 1/2 a block.  One block of maple syrup comes from two teaspoons.  Given we have ¼ cup maple syrup, we know that that is 4 tablespoons (or 12 teaspoons) so we get 6 blocks of carbs. 1 large onion, breaks down into about 1 cup of onion therefore giving us 2 blocks as 1/2 cup equals one block. Finally we have 1 green and 1 red bell pepper.  Each pepper when diced gives us about 1 cup, and knowing that 2 cups equal one block that gives us our final block of carbs for a total of 11 carbs.


We are using 1 tablespoon olive oil.  1/3 of a teaspoon equals one block so therefore, there are 9 blocks on one tablespoon of olive oil.


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