Why order take out when you can make your own Chinese lemon chicken at home? There are a few different versions of lemon chicken out there, all coming from different countries. Probably the most popular type of lemon chicken would be baked in the oven. We all know baked lemon chicken is great but here is the Chinese version – just like take out or at the buffets. The Chinese version varies greatly from that of other cultures. Like most types of Chinese chicken the chicken is first cut into small chunks, battered, and then deep fried and covered with a sweet-lemon sauce. I do have a confession to make, I used yellow food coloring to get the sauce that amazing bright yellow color. If you have some yellow food coloring on hand, just add a drop or two into the sauce before you heat it. This recipe goes great served with rice and broccoli. Enjoy.
2 1/2lbs boneless-skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch white pepper
oil (for frying)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
3 slices of lemon (peeled)
2 tablespoons oil
yellow food coloring (optional)
Step 1: Place cut chicken breast pieces into a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 2: To make the batter – beat 2 large eggs with ¼ cup of cornstarch, a pinch of white pepper and baking powder. Coat the chicken with the batter.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Now, to make the lemon sauce – combine 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and ¾ 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.
Step 5: 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.