Monday, July 16, 2012

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen



The moment I saw Nami's review of this recipe from Bee's cookbook, I could hardly wait to try it. I expected a flavor similar to the traditional Orange Chicken that we all love, but this was different. The lemon sauce is tangy, sweet and a bit more tart than I expected; we all really liked it and there wasn't a drop of sauce leftover after the meal.

If you aren't familiar with deep frying, do not be intimidated by this recipe. It was much easier than I expected and it required far less oil than I anticipated. I simply used a small saucepan with a couple inches of oil. The chicken turned out beautifully! I can't believe I didn't think to snap a picture of all of the chicken when it was finished cooking. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The whole family declared the chicken delicious. Once it was drizzled with sauce, there was a very quiet table for our dinner as everyone was focused on eating every simple bite!

Chinese Lemon Chicken - Gluten Free substitutions included
recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook and Easy Chinese Recipes
(printable recipe)

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, this was 9 chicken tender pieces
2 large eggs, beaten
Coconut oil, for deep frying (or flavorless oil of your choosing)
Optional: 1 cup white vinegar **
Marinade Ingredients:
1 tablespoon soy sauce (use tamarind if GF version is desired)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 teaspoons sherry cooking wine
Coating Ingredients:
1/2 cup AP flour *
1/2 cup arrowroot or cornstarch *
2 teaspoons baking soda
* Gluten Free substitutions: 1/2 cup brown rice flour + 1/3 cup potato starch + 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch - combine all three of these and substitute for the flour and cornstarch combination listed above
Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, this was the juice of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup plum sauce, this can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
pinch of salt, to taste

Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken tenders in a gallon size ziploc bag. Press the air out and squeeze the bag gently to ensure that all the pieces are coated in the marinade. Let rest on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Whisk together the coating ingredients in a pie plate or a flat bottom dish or bowl and set aside. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and set aside next to the coating. In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and set aside.

Heat 2-3 inches of the oil in a small, but deep (to avoid splattering) saucepan until it is 350 degrees. I didn't test the temperature of my oil, I simply set it to medium high on my stove and it was ready when it barely bubbled, after a few minutes of heating. If the oil smokes, it is too hot.

Dip the chicken in the egg, then dredge well in the coating. Turn it a couple of times to evenly coat each piece. Shake off the excess coating and then gently drop the chicken into the oil. I was able to easily cook 3 chicken tenders at a time in the oil. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown, this took about 4-5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil using kitchen tongs and drain on paper towels.

When all the chicken has been cooked, slice each tender into bite size pieces and serve drizzled with the Lemon Sauce. Enjoy!

** Setting a cup of vinegar in a small open bowl next to the stove, works to eliminate the vast majority of the odors associated with frying foods. It really does work (Thanks, Leesa!) and there isn't a vinegar smell that remains later either. Simply toss the vinegar down the drain when you are finished cleaning up after the meal.

Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen




ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Whole Wheat Waffles with Waffle Sauce

14 comments:

  1. Back when I still ate meat, I always found lemon and orange chicken to just be TOO sweet. This balance of flavors sounds perfect though!

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  2. Looks lovely Mary. I really don't deep fry often enough. Can't stand the smell in the house. Did you ever figure out if the vinegar by the stove helps with the smell?

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    1. Yes! It does work. I do it every time I work with oil now. I just updated the recipe to include that tip.

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  3. I'm back from vacation and ready to try some new recipes! This is on my list! Looks awesome. :)

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  4. This is a wholesome yet yummy meal!

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  5. Wow the lemon chicken looks so delicious! Haven't had this in a while... I'll have to make some soon!

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  6. Isn't it just great to find a recipe that the whole family loves! I think my family would love this too!
    Mary x

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  7. Yum!! I love lemon chicken! There used to be a place out here that had THE best lemon chicken, but of course, they closed like two years ago! Oh well.. now I have a recipe that I can make at home!

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  8. This is one of Ryan's favorite things to order out (actually, he likes orange chicken, but it is basically the same citrus/fried goodness). I can't wait to make this for him! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  9. Mary this really looks delicious. I can't stop looking at the photos. Very nice.

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  10. Oh how I wish I had a deep frier...my life would be so much more gluttonous!! ;-)

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  11. Hi Mary! Sorry I am late to come here (and so strange that I didn't get a pingback either). Thank you for trying the recipe and link back to me! Looks so delicious! This is one of my kids' favorite and I have to make it again as I still have plum sauce (I don't use it for other dishes so far). I am intrigued to try the vinegar method. I think a lot of people will change their mind about deep frying once they try this method. I myself can't wait to try. Thank you again!!

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  12. The pictures that you did get look fabulous. Nami is the best and I would always trust her reviews as well! I know that my boys would absolutely love it.

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  13. How did I miss this one? I love orange and tangerine chicken, but I think lemon is the best. I like that you describe this one as extra tangy, that's the way I like it, too, and that plum sauce with the lemon juice sounds great.

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