Lemon Day – Chinese Lemon Chicken

Lemon Day

Zorra is swimming in piles of lemons and invites the foodie world to share lemon recipes for a Lemon Day event. I’ll happily oblige 🙂

I’ve chosen a dish I’ve been wanting to try ever since I spotted it on blogchef.net:

Chinese Lemon Chicken

The combination of a sweet lemon sauce with fried Chinese chicken is rather unusual for European tastes – think sweetn’sour, if you need a boost for your imagination.

Chinese Lemon Chicken (from blogchef.net)

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)

Marinade
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt

Batter

2 large eggs
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch white pepper

oil (for frying)

Sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 slices of lemon (peeled)
2 tablespoons oil
yellow food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

Place cut chicken breast pieces into a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the batter – beat 2 large eggs with 1/4 cup of cornstarch, a pinch of white pepper and baking powder. Coat the chicken with the batter.

Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees and deep-fry in batches until chicken is fully cooked. Drain on paper towels and set aside. You can also cook the chicken using a wok if you don’t have a deep fryer.

Now, to make the lemon sauce – combine 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 3/4 teaspoon salt (if using food coloring you can add it now). Mix until well combined and add 3 slices of lemon to the sauce mixture.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok and stir in the lemon sauce mixture and heat until well mixed and sauce becomes clear. Remove lemon slices and pour the sauce over the chicken and mix. Best served with rice and broccoli.

We used the wok to fry the chicken, and the batter needs a little adjustment based on the eggs you use, add a little more cornstarch as needed to make it stick to the chicken. Hence, we made the sauce in a small saucepan on the side.

The dish is really tasty – but I’d rather have something fresh (cucumber salad, pickles) with the chicken than broccoli. I’ll probably add a pinch of crushed chile pepper to the sauce next time, and taste for a little more lemon juice to achieve hot-sour-salty-sweet, and some grated lemon zest to either sauce and/or batter for more lemon-y goodness.

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