Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chinese Lemon Chicken

My colleague and friend admitted that she visits my blog from time to time (along with others who never comment *glares their way* haha j/k) and that she even visits it in search of dinner ideas. She complained gently that I had a dearth of chicken and other savory recipes but I was not without many desserts. Well, I'm not surprised that this is true because I do prefer to bake rather than cook.

So, last night, I took out one of my few cookbooks to look for a good chicken recipe. I was going to make a chicken pot pie, but I decided against that idea because so many other bloggers have made that dish. The next morning, I was still unsure as to what I wanted to make and turned to my bookmarks. I spotted lemon chicken and jumped up immediately from my chair in preparation to make this dish.
I thought that this dish would taste similar to the orange chicken I had made before just with a lemony flavor, but it didn't turn out even as sweet as the ones I've tasted in the restaurants. So, I added a bit more sugar, and it tasted much better. Lastly, the recipe for the sauce only gives you enough to coat the chicken. If you want extra sauce (I know I did), I suggest doubling the recipe. I have posted the revised version below with a link to the original recipe. Enjoy, Lydia! This one is for you!
Lemon Chicken
adapted from CookAsian
Yields enough for 2-3 people

400g boneless chicken breasts, skin removed (I used 8-10 chicken tenders)
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine (I used rice wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tsp fresh (or ground) ginger, grated
4 Tbsp cornstarch, mixed with a little water to make a paste
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to season (I used Lawry's Seasoning Salt and pepper)
Oil for deep frying (I used canola/vegetable oil blend)

In pan for sauce:
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

In a liquid, 2-cup measuring cup (I suggest doubling the sauce if you want extra):
1/2 Cup Chinese stock or chicken stock (I used chicken broth)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/6 cup (or 2 Tbsp + 1tsp) caster (or granulated) sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tsp grated lemon peel
2-3 Drops yellow food coloring (optional; I didn't add this)

-Slices of Lemon to garnish

Wash and dry the chicken breasts, and cut into chunks. Place the chicken in a shallow dish (I used a pie plate), and add the Chinese rice wine (or rice wine vinegar), honey, and grated ginger. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. (I suggest preparing the rice at this point.)

Place the beaten egg and 4Tbsp cornstarch paste into a bowl, and mix well. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and add to the bowl. Stir to ensure all the chicken pieces are coated with the batter. (I added the paste to the marinade instead, and it worked out fine.)

Heat the oil for deep frying in a wok or large pan and add the chicken pieces (Make sure you move the chicken around when first introduced to the oil because they tend to stick!). Fry until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the wok and drain on paper towels. (You could also bake the chicken!)

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan or wok until hot (I drained out the oil from frying, leaving 1 Tbsp of oil and used the skillet to make the sauce). Reduce the heat slightly. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice, caster (or granulated) sugar, soy sauce, stock and lemon rind. Stir well. Bring to the boil and stir until the sauce is smooth. Add the yellow food coloring (optional)

Place the chicken pieces on a plate, and pour a little of the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with thin slices of lemon and serve. (I placed the chicken back in the skillet with the sauce instead.)


  1. ooh this looks good. I love lemon chicken and this looks like a winner. And yes, extra sauce is a must.

  2. I love lemon chicken but have never thought of making it. I like your 'new look' on the blog. For a minute, I thought I was in the wrong spot!

  3. You did EXCELLENT! Look at the juicy, succulent pieces of chicken! Memória, I love your new blog design!! It looks so elegant. :)

  4. This chicken is divaine and so are your photos. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be following yours from now on. Based on what I see here I am sure you can teach me a thing or two about taking great pictures.

  5. Wow that looks so yummy. I can see why you were so inspired to make this.

  6. Beautiful photos! I was craving this last night. And I love how you designed your site, especially the colors and the header. Very sophisticated :)

  7. Hi Memoria! I love the new look of the blog. Good choice of colors. I love making orange chicken (for the BF) and orange tofu (for myself), but this lemon version sounds great too. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Looks fantastic! I'm going to have to try this one. I think the whole family will like it. :)

  9. Thanks, everyone!

    msmeanie - You could definitely make this with tofu.

  10. Wow! The blog looks great! The dark background really makes the pictures pop! The chicken looks crispy and delicious!

  11. Hi, Memoria

    I love Chinese lemon chicken and you have done an excellent job preparing and photographing this dish! You make me want to at least give it a go, so cross your fingers and pray for me:o) I can only hope my chicken taste half as good as yours looks. BTW, as I told you the other day, your blog looks so elegant and classy, just like you :o)

  12. This looks so good!!!!! Also great idea on the crockpot dulce de leche.

  13. I'm glad you found this savoury dish! It looks absolutely yummy.

  14. This looks out of this world! I tried making lemon chicken once and boy was it a disaster. I have to give this a go asap- thanks for sharing the recipe!

  15. Thanks for visiting my blog and helping me to discover yours! Wowza! Totally love your food and photography. Fantastic and hey, those are some really neat gifts from your mom!

  16. Memoria I made it, it is very very very good. Thank you!--Lydia

  17. Loving the sound of this sauce. The chicken looks wonderful.

  18. This looks awesome!! And so does your crockpot dulce de leche down there. I want to make this one for dinner next week.

  19. Thanks again, everyone!!

    Lydia- I'm glad it came out well for you!! I made it just for you :D.

    Laura - Tell me how it turns out for you, please!

  20. What a super luscious version of lemon chicken (and who doesn't love lemon chicken?). Fabulous recipe, beautiful dish! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Okay, Memoria

    I finally got around to making this lemon chicken! Even though it took me a while to get all of the ingredients together, I can't believe how incredibly tasty it all turned out! I actually made an Asian dish that I can write home about to Mom :o) Hope you are proud of me, dear daughter! A mother can learn her young one (and I only slightly cut my thumb this time)!

  22. I just made this recipe and it came out fantastic. It hits the spot when I want 'americanized' chinese :)

  23. This looks and sounds so good that I will try it I'm sure. Thanks for the revised edition and sharing.

  24. This looks amazing! I seriously shouldn't be looking at food blogs at night...restaurants in south delhi


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