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Elevate Your Dinner Game: Easy Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe

For a tasty and simple Chinese-inspired meal, try the classic lemon chicken recipe. This dish features a delightful sweet and tangy sauce paired with crispy fried chicken, guaranteeing to please your taste buds. It's straightforward to prepare at home without the need for exotic ingredients or complex cooking methods.

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, lemon slices, and a glossy sauce. A sprinkle of sesame seeds adds texture

To make this easy Chinese lemon chicken recipe, you'll need some basic ingredients like chicken breast, lemon juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch. You can also add in some extra veggies like broccoli or bell peppers to make it a more well-rounded meal. The key to getting the perfect texture is to fry the chicken until it's crispy and golden brown, then toss it in the lemon sauce for a burst of flavour.

Overall, this easy Chinese lemon chicken recipe is a great option for anyone who wants to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Whether you're cooking for yourself or feeding a crowd, this recipe is sure to be a hit. So why not give it a try and see for yourself how easy and delicious it can be?

Key Takeaways

  • This easy Chinese lemon chicken recipe is a simple and tasty dish that can be made at home with just a few basic ingredients.
  • To get the perfect texture, fry the chicken until it's crispy and golden brown, then toss it in the lemon sauce for a burst of flavour.
  • You can add in extra veggies or seafood like shrimp or squid to make this dish even more delicious and nutritious.

Ingredients Breakdown

A table with a cutting board, knife, lemon, garlic, chicken, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch. Ingredients are neatly arranged for easy access and cooking

Chicken Selection

The star of the show in this easy Chinese lemon chicken recipe is, of course, the chicken! You can use either chicken breast or thigh meat, depending on your preference. If you're looking for a leaner option, chicken breast is a great choice. However, if you want a more tender and juicy result, chicken thigh is the way to go. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try using seafood such as prawns or scallops instead of chicken. They'll add a unique twist to your dish!

Lemon Sauce Components

The lemon sauce is what gives this dish its signature tangy flavour. The key components of the sauce are lemon juice, sugar, water, and soy sauce. You'll also need some chicken broth to add depth of flavour. For an extra zesty kick, be sure to include some lemon zest in your sauce.

Coating and Batter Essentials

To get that crispy exterior on your chicken, you'll need to coat it in a mixture of cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper. You'll also need an egg to help the coating stick to the chicken. For a gluten-free option, you can substitute the flour for a gluten-free flour blend. Be sure to deep fry your chicken in oil heated to 350°F/175°C for the perfect texture.

That's it! With these simple ingredients, you can make a delicious Chinese lemon chicken dish that is sure to impress. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of protein or adjust the seasoning to your liking. Happy cooking!

Preparation Steps

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, lemon slices, and colorful vegetables being stir-fried in a savory sauce. Ingredients are neatly arranged nearby

Preparing Chinese lemon chicken is a simple process that involves marinating the chicken, mixing the batter, and creating the lemon sauce. Here are the steps to follow:

Marinating the Chicken

To prepare the chicken, you can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs. Cut the chicken into small pieces and marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch for about 30 minutes. Marinating the chicken allows the flavour of the seasonings to penetrate deep into the meat, making it more flavourful.

Mixing the Batter

To make the batter, you can mix cornstarch, flour, salt, white pepper, turmeric, and sesame oil in a bowl. Then, dredge the chicken in the dry mixture and drop them into the oil in batches of 5-6 pieces. You can also add seafood to the batter, such as prawns or squid, to add more flavour and texture to the dish.

Creating the Lemon Sauce

To make the lemon sauce, you can mix chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Heat the mixture in a saucepan until it thickens. You can also add seafood to the sauce, such as scallops or crab, to enhance the flavour of the dish.

Overall, preparing Chinese lemon chicken is a straightforward process that requires a few simple steps. By following these steps, you can create a delicious and flavourful meal that is perfect for any occasion.

Cooking Techniques

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, stir-frying in a tangy lemon sauce. Sliced green onions and sesame seeds garnish the dish

Frying for Crispiness

Deep-frying is a popular technique used to make Chinese lemon chicken crispy. To achieve the desired texture, it is recommended to use canola oil or vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350°F in a deep saucepan, and then add the chicken cubes. Fry each piece for 4-5 minutes until it turns golden brown. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oil and let it rest on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Sauce Simmering

The Chinese lemon sauce is the most important part of this recipe, and it is crucial to simmer it properly. In a medium bowl, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix the sauce well and keep it aside. In a saucepan, heat the sauce over medium heat and stir continuously until it thickens. Once the sauce reaches the desired consistency, add the fried chicken cubes to the pan and stir well. Let the chicken cook in the sauce for 2-3 minutes to absorb the flavors.

If you are looking to add some seafood to this recipe, shrimp or prawns would be a great addition. You can stir-fry them with the chicken or cook them separately and add them to the sauce at the end. Make sure to clean and devein the shrimp or prawns before cooking them.

Serving Suggestions

A plate of Chinese lemon chicken with steamed rice, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, served alongside a side of stir-fried vegetables

Accompaniments

Chinese lemon chicken is a versatile dish that can be served with various accompaniments. Rice is a classic pairing that complements the tangy lemon sauce. You can choose to serve it with steamed white rice or brown rice for a healthier option. If you want to add some texture to your meal, you can also serve it with fried rice or noodles.

Vegetables are also a great way to balance out the richness of the chicken. You can serve it with steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas. This will add some colour and nutrition to your meal.

If you want to add some seafood to your meal, you can mix some prawns or scallops with the chicken. The seafood will add a new dimension of flavour to the dish.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing can elevate the presentation of your dish and add some extra flavour. Here are some garnishing tips for your Chinese lemon chicken:

  • Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the chicken for a nutty crunch.
  • Add some sliced green onions on top for a pop of colour and freshness.
  • Serve with lemon slices on the side for a burst of citrus flavour.

Overall, Chinese lemon chicken is a delicious and easy dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments and garnishes. Experiment with different combinations to find your favourite pairing.

Storage and Reheating

A wok sizzles with sliced chicken, lemon sauce, and vegetables. A microwave sits nearby, ready to reheat the dish

After making this easy Chinese lemon chicken recipe, you might have some leftovers. Don't worry, this dish can be stored and reheated easily.

If you have any leftover Chinese lemon chicken, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze the chicken for up to three months. When reheating, you can use a microwave or heat a frying pan on medium heat. If you choose to use a frying pan, add a few tablespoons of water to help loosen the sauce.

To reheat the chicken in the microwave, place it in a microwave-safe container and heat for 2-3 minutes. If you are using a frying pan, heat it on medium heat and add the chicken. Stir occasionally and add water if necessary to prevent the chicken from drying out.

If you have an air fryer, you can also use it to reheat the chicken. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F and place the chicken in the basket. Heat for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is heated through.

If you want to add some seafood to this recipe, you can use shrimp or prawns. Simply cook the shrimp or prawns separately and add them to the dish when you are tossing the chicken in the sauce. This will give the dish an extra burst of flavour and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef effortlessly prepares a zesty Chinese lemon chicken dish in a bustling kitchen, surrounded by fresh ingredients and cooking utensils

How do I make a lemon sauce for chicken that's both tangy and sweet?

To make a tangy and sweet lemon sauce for your chicken, you'll need to balance the flavours carefully. Start by whisking together lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and ginger. Pour in the sauce and cook until it thickens. Adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more sugar or vinegar as needed.

What's the secret to getting that perfectly soft texture in Chinese chicken dishes?

The secret to getting a soft texture in Chinese chicken dishes is to marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help tenderize the meat and give it a velvety texture.

Can I create a healthier version of lemon chicken without compromising on flavour?

Yes, you can create a healthier version of lemon chicken by baking or grilling the chicken instead of deep-frying it. You can also use skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, and reduce the amount of sugar and oil in the sauce. Additionally, you can add vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, or snow peas to the dish for added nutrition.

What's the best way to achieve a crispy coating for lemon chicken?

The best way to achieve a crispy coating for lemon chicken is to coat the chicken in a mixture of cornstarch and flour before frying it. This will create a light and crispy crust that will hold up well when tossed in the sauce. You can also add a pinch of baking powder to the coating mixture to make it extra crispy.

Is there an authentic Chinese method for preparing lemon chicken?

Lemon chicken is a popular dish in Chinese-American cuisine, but it's not a traditional Chinese dish. However, you can still find variations of the dish in Chinese cuisine, such as lemon shrimp or lemon fish. The preparation method is similar, but the ingredients and cooking time may vary.

What are some tips for serving lemon chicken to make it taste like it's from a Chinese takeaway?

To make your lemon chicken taste like it's from a Chinese takeaway, serve it with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables like bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms. You can also sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped green onions on top for added flavour and presentation. If you want to add seafood to the dish, you can use shrimp or scallops, which pair well with the lemon sauce.