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Chinese Honey Lemon Chicken Recipe: A Sweet and Tangy Delight

Are you craving for a delicious and flavourful Chinese dish? One dish that you should try is the Chinese honey lemon chicken. This dish is a perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavours that will surely satisfy your taste buds. This recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it a great option for home-cooking.

Sizzling chicken strips in a wok with honey and lemon sauce. Chopped scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top

To make this dish, you will need essential ingredients such as chicken breast, cornflour, honey, lemon, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, you can start marinating the chicken to infuse it with flavour. The key to achieving a perfectly tender and juicy chicken is to marinate it for at least 30 minutes.

After marinating the chicken, it's time to prepare the lemon sauce. The lemon sauce is the star of this dish, and it's what gives it the sweet and tangy flavour. You can adjust the sweetness and sourness according to your preference. Once you have prepared the sauce, you can start cooking the chicken. The cooking technique is crucial to achieving a crispy and golden brown chicken. You can either fry or bake the chicken, depending on your preference.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese honey lemon chicken is a delicious and flavourful dish that is easy to make at home.
  • Essential ingredients for this dish include chicken breast, cornflour, honey, lemon, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
  • To achieve a perfectly tender and juicy chicken, marinate it for at least 30 minutes.

Essential Ingredients

A sizzling wok filled with tender chunks of honey-glazed chicken, surrounded by vibrant lemon slices and drizzled with a glossy, amber-colored sauce

To make a delicious Chinese honey lemon chicken, you need to have the right ingredients. Here are some essential ingredients that you will need for this recipe:

Chicken Selection

When it comes to choosing the right chicken for this recipe, you have two options: chicken breast or chicken thigh. While chicken breast is leaner and healthier, chicken thigh is more flavourful and juicy. You can choose whichever option you prefer.

Lemon and Honey

The two main ingredients that give this dish its unique flavour are lemon and honey. You will need both lemon juice and lemon zest to get the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Use fresh lemons for the best flavour. As for honey, any type of golden honey will work.

Flour and Starches

You will need a combination of flour and starches to achieve the perfect crispy coating for your chicken. Use a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch for the best results. You can also use rice flour or potato starch if you prefer a gluten-free option.

If you want to add some seafood to your honey lemon chicken recipe, you can use shrimp or scallops. Simply coat them in the same flour and starch mixture as the chicken and fry until golden brown. Serve them alongside your chicken for a delicious surf and turf meal.

In addition to these essential ingredients, you will also need other ingredients such as soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, green onions, salt, sugar, water, and oil. Use these ingredients as directed in your recipe to create a mouth-watering dish that will impress your family and friends.

Marinating the Chicken

Chicken pieces soaking in a mixture of honey, lemon, and Chinese spices in a bowl

Marinating the chicken is an essential step in creating the perfect Chinese honey lemon chicken dish. The marinade is what gives the chicken its unique flavour and texture. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your marinade:

Creating the Marinade

To create the marinade, you will need salt, soy sauce, egg white, corn flour, Shaoxing wine, and white pepper. You can adjust the quantities of each ingredient to suit your taste. If you prefer a more savoury flavour, you can add more salt and soy sauce. If you prefer a spicier flavour, you can add more white pepper.

If you want to add seafood to your recipe, you can use prawns or scallops. Both of these seafood options work well with the marinade and will complement the chicken nicely.

Marinating Time

The marinating time is crucial to ensure that the chicken absorbs all the flavours of the marinade. You can marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes or overnight if you want to prepare the chicken in advance. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavourful it will be.

When marinating the chicken, make sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure that the chicken is coated evenly. You can also use a sealable plastic bag to marinate the chicken, which will help to distribute the marinade more evenly.

Marinating the chicken is a crucial step in creating the perfect Chinese honey lemon chicken dish. By following these tips, you can create a marinade that is full of flavour and will make your chicken taste amazing.

Preparing the Lemon Sauce

A chef mixes honey, lemon juice, and soy sauce in a bowl. Zest and juice from a lemon sit nearby. Ingredients are laid out on the counter

Sauce Ingredients

To make the honey lemon sauce for your Chinese chicken, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Corn starch
  • Water

You can adjust the amount of honey and sugar to your taste preference. If you want a sweeter sauce, add more honey and sugar. For a tangier sauce, add more lemon juice and vinegar.

Sauce Consistency

To achieve the right consistency for your sauce, mix the lemon juice, honey, sugar, vinegar, and water in a saucepan. Add corn starch to thicken the sauce. Simmer the mixture over low heat until it thickens to your desired consistency.

You can add lemon slices to the sauce for extra flavour and presentation. If you prefer a seafood twist to your recipe, you can add prawns or shrimp to the sauce. The seafood will complement the tangy and sweet flavour of the sauce.

Cooking Technique

A wok sizzles with marinated chicken, honey, and lemon, as steam rises and aromas fill the air. Ingredients like soy sauce and ginger sit nearby

Frying the Chicken

To achieve the crispy texture of the chicken, it is important to fry it properly. The best way to do this is to use a pan or wok, and deep fry the chicken until it is golden brown. You can also try shallow frying if you don't want to use too much oil.

Before frying, make sure the chicken is coated with a dry batter. This will help to create a crispy texture. You can use cornflour or plain flour to coat the chicken. It is important to make sure the coating is dry before frying, as this will help to create a crispy texture.

When frying the chicken, make sure the oil is hot enough. You can test this by dropping a small piece of bread into the oil. If it sizzles and turns golden brown quickly, the oil is ready. Once the chicken is fried, place it on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Sauce Application

The sauce is what makes the dish unique. To make the honey lemon sauce, you will need honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, and chili sauce. Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Once the chicken is cooked, it's time to toss it in the sauce. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the sauce. You can also add some vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers to the sauce to make the dish healthier and more colorful.

If you want to add seafood to the dish, you can use shrimp or prawns. You can fry them separately and add them to the sauce along with the chicken. This will add more flavor and texture to the dish.

Cooking Tips:

  • Make sure the chicken is dry before coating it with the batter.
  • Use a pan or wok to fry the chicken, and make sure the oil is hot enough.
  • Coat the chicken evenly with the sauce.
  • Add vegetables or seafood to the dish to make it more nutritious and flavorful.

By following these simple techniques, you can create a delicious and crispy honey lemon chicken dish that will impress your family and friends.

Serving Suggestions

A plate of Chinese honey lemon chicken with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables, garnished with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro

Accompaniments

Chinese honey lemon chicken is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Steamed rice: Steamed rice is a classic accompaniment to Chinese dishes, and it pairs perfectly with honey lemon chicken. The mild flavour of the rice complements the bold flavours of the chicken, making for a well-rounded meal.
  • Fried rice: If you're looking to switch things up, try serving your honey lemon chicken with fried rice instead. The nutty flavour of the rice and the crispy texture of the vegetables make for a delicious contrast to the tender chicken.
  • Noodles: If you're in the mood for something a little lighter, try serving your honey lemon chicken with noodles. Whether you choose to use egg noodles or rice noodles, the delicate flavour of the noodles will complement the lemony sauce perfectly.

Presentation

When it comes to presentation, there are a few things you can do to make your honey lemon chicken look as good as it tastes:

  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh lemon zest: Toasted sesame seeds and fresh lemon zest not only add a pop of colour to your dish, but they also add a burst of flavour that complements the honey lemon sauce perfectly. Sprinkle them over the top of your chicken just before serving.
  • Serve with lettuce leaves: If you're looking to add a little freshness to your dish, try serving your honey lemon chicken with lettuce leaves. The cool, crisp leaves provide a nice contrast to the warm, tender chicken.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container: If you have leftovers, be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will help to keep your chicken fresh and prevent it from drying out.

For seafood lovers, you can add prawns or shrimps to the recipe. The seafood can be cooked in the same way as the chicken, and it will complement the honey lemon sauce perfectly. Make sure to use fresh prawns or shrimps and cook them until they are pink and opaque.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok stir-frying tender chicken strips with glossy honey and tangy lemon sauce, surrounded by vibrant green scallions and sesame seeds

How do you make the sauce for Chinese lemon chicken?

The sauce for Chinese lemon chicken is made by combining honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger in a saucepan and heating it over medium heat until it thickens. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little heat.

What are the key ingredients for a crispy honey lemon chicken?

The key ingredients for crispy honey lemon chicken are chicken breasts, cornstarch, egg, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil for frying. You can also add seafood like shrimp or scallops to your recipe for a more flavourful dish.

What's the best way to serve honey lemon chicken with rice?

The best way to serve honey lemon chicken with rice is to cook jasmine rice and serve it alongside the chicken. You can also add some steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or snow peas for a healthy and balanced meal.

How can you ensure your lemon chicken comes out crispy when baked in the oven?

To ensure your lemon chicken comes out crispy when baked in the oven, you need to coat the chicken in cornstarch and egg mixture before baking. You should also preheat the oven to 425°F and bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown and crispy.

What are the benefits of adding lemon juice to chicken during cooking?

Adding lemon juice to chicken during cooking helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with a tangy flavour. It also helps to balance out the sweetness of the honey and adds a refreshing taste to the dish.

Could you suggest a simple method for preparing honey lemon chicken?

To prepare honey lemon chicken, you need to cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and coat them in a mixture of cornstarch, egg, salt, and pepper. Then fry the chicken in vegetable oil until it is crispy and golden brown. In a separate pan, make the sauce by heating honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger until it thickens. Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve it with rice and steamed vegetables. You can also add seafood like shrimp or scallops to your recipe for a more flavourful dish.