Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Lemons are pretty versatile. Despite the fact that they are tart they go really well in sweet dishes. Lemons can also be used in savoury dishes though I have not had all that many. When I came across the concept of an Asian style lemon chicken dish I had to try it. Most of the recipes that I found for lemon chicken called for coating the chicken in corn starch or flour and frying it in oil. Since the chicken would then be placed in a lemon sauce and become soggy I was not too sure why it was deep fried in the first place. I decided to come up with a way of making lemon chicken without frying the chicken. In the end I decided to marinate the chicken in a lemon marinade and then saute the chicken and reduce the the marinade into a sauce. Although the dish did not turn out to be too photogenic the lemon chicken was really tasty. It had a really nice lemon flavour and it was tart but not too tart. The cilantro and green onion along with the lemon flavour made the dish taste really fresh. I think that the next time I make this I will add more chili heat to it. I will also have to try making the version with the breaded and fried chicken to compare.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small chili (chopped, or 1 teaspoon chili sauce)
  • 1 pound chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted)
  1. Mix the lemon zest, juice, chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, honey, and chili in a bowl. Do a taste test here to balance out the tartness, saltiness, sweetness and heat.
  2. Place the chicken into mixture and marinate for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the chicken reserving the marinade.
  6. Saute the chicken until cooked, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add the reserved marinade and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
  8. Add the green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds and remove from the heat.
  9. Serve on rice or noodles.


Peter M said...

Kevin, the lemon chicken looks appetizing and your approach is creative.

I think the lemons become mellower with cooking.

Cynthia said...

I'm cooking chicken tomorrow and have been wondering what to make. Thanks for the inspiration, Kevin. If only I can have some of yours then I won't have to cook! :)

giz said...

What a clever idea - and a great way to get away from frying. This is now on my list of "must try" recipes.

MrsPresley said...

i try not to fry a lot of my food... deep fry, that is. i will roll some of my chicken in cornstarch before stir frying it though. this lemon chicken sounds delicious, good job with the recipe!

Laurie Constantino said...

This is great, Kevin, and so much healthier than deep frying. And I like the picture, I can tell from the spicing how flavorful this dish is.

Helene said...

Thanks for posting that recipe. It appeals me.

Emiline said...

Have you ever heard of Springfield-style cashew chicken?


I'm from Springfield, and this is what we're known for. It's fried chicken chunks with a gravy-like sauce poured on top of it.

I have to agree with you, that this is not "good eats". Yours looks much better.

Dhanggit said...

i agree with you on lemon's versatility :-) that's why i always have a stock of fresh lemons in the fridge everyday..you'll never go wrong with them :-)

love this chicken lemon recipe of yours and specially with rice its enough to make my day :-)

javagirlkt's cookin' said...

This looks awesome. It's always good to find new ways to cook chicken.

Deborah said...

I love lemon chicken, and I love that you didn't fry it.

Sylvia said...

What a clever idea, Kevin .I always have chicken in my fridge , and sometimes I don´t have idea in how to make.Until now.

Mr. Shiny & New said...

I have a recipe for chicken and oranges that is similar to how you describe the lemon chicken recipes you found: coat the chicken in cornstarch then fry. But it doesn't make for soggy chicken; the cornstarch coating is very thin and disappears when you fry it.

Chicken and Oranges: (approx, from memory)
Coat chicken pieces in cornstarch
Fry in butter while you peel an orange
Put the orange pieces in the pan, along with onion (optional), salt, pepper, etc.
Fry then simmer until the chicken is tender
Take the solids out of the pan and put orange juice in, reduce to 1/3rd.
Pour sauce over chicken, serve over rice.
Works well with mango instead of oranges.

sher said...

I think your photo is very appetizing. It looks much better than the lemon chicken served in restaurants here. I hate frying and avoid it as much as possible--so I will be making this dish iof yours. Feel free to re-vamp any other dishes that require frying! :):):)

Cara said...

this sounds really delicious and I am always looking for a new way to prepare chicken.

Pam said...

Kevin, this sounds really good. I bet you could replace the lemon with a lime and it would be good too!

Cooking and the City said...

Hello its my first visit to your blog but it won't be my last, its great. this chicken looks delicious! :-)

Anna Haight said...

This is a real contribution to both health AND flavor. Thanks for being a food adventurer!

Bellini Valli said...

LOVE the lemony sauce Kevin. This is a healthier way to gorge on lemon chicken that we have at the local restaurants.

Kalyn said...

I love lemon in any kind of dish, and this sounds very tasty. I love the addition of cilantro too, of course.

A scientist in the kitchen said...

This one's a winner, Kevin.

ali said...

Dear Kevin,

I tried your recipe, and all i can say is that i feel deeply endebted to you. During the month of Ramadan, it's important to eat well. On behalf of my family and i, I thank you for sharing your easy and delicious recipe with the world.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi Kevin - I'm making this tonight and wanted to know what you mean by a teaspoon of chili, chopped. A dried pepper? Red pepper flakes? A fresh red pepper? Thanks!!

Kevin said...

Mary Ellen: I used a small fresh chili pepper thought the chili is really just for some heat so you can use what ever you prefer. I find that chili sauce works well when I can't get fresh chilies.

fittingbackin said...

I just found your blog this afternoon and made this recipe for dinner. SO good - thanks so much!

saveMeEHJeBus said...

omg...i made this yesterday...delicious! now i want more!

Tamsin said...

I just made this for dinner and it was amazing! I served it with rice cooked in weak chicken stock and a mix of spring greens, carrot and courgette(zuccini!) steamed with a splash of soy sauce and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil. I sliced the courgette and carrot very thinly using a potato peeler. I will definitely make this again, it was delicious.

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