What is it about sticky, sweet, tangy, spicy sauces on chicken breast? It’s sort of like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and peanut butter, or vodka and tonic – they just go together.
The first time I had PF Chang’s caramel chicken I thought I was in Heaven. Well, sort of. I am sure if it was heaven Ryan Gosling would have been the waiter and since he wasn’t let’s just say I was really darn close. Tangy, sticky, sweet, and slightly spicy chicken with mango and … and… well whatever else was in there. It was delicious. That very night I swore to find out how to make caramel chicken or die trying. I am very happy to say I have maybe a few more good years left.
This recipe is basic. You can add the mango and the onion and all the other good things if you want to. I’d just saute the vegetables and mango quickly and then pour it over the finished caramel chicken.
This may mean I need to go back to Chang’s to do more research.
This is so easy to make that you can use it as a weeknight dinner. If you have a rice cooker just set it as soon as you get home and by the time the rice is done the chicken will just about be done, too. I served it with roasted vegetables and that worked really well. Honestly, the roasted vegetables were from a bag I got in the freezer section of Costco so this was truly a simple meal. I’d finish this with some tangy dessert like lemon bars or lemon pie – but an almond pound cake would also be a great way to finish up.
I tried to keep this simple, without adding a lot of ingredients that you might not keep on hand. If you don’t have Sriracha then a few drops of good, old Louisiana Hot Sauce will work just fine. You can even cook this in the slow cooker if you want. The chicken will break up so you probably won’t have whole breasts but it is great over rice and actually even more tender.