They say that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I say, “when life gives you lemons, make lemon chicken!”
I order this dish a lot whenever I eat at Chinese restaurants. The night I made this, my mom and sister were eating at a Chinese restaurant called P.F. Changs, and since I couldn’t be there with them, I just made this meal at home. It was actually quite easy to make.
Chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-2″ cubes
To make the marinade:
2-3 tbsps soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
To make the batter:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
To make the lemon sauce:
1/2 cup sugar*
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice (squeezed from the lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 1 1/2 cup cornstarch (to be added later when cooking the sauce)
1. Marinate chicken in soy sauce and refrigerate for 30 – 45 minutes
2. Dip marinated chicken in the egg batter for about 15 minutes, making sure that all parts are coated
3. Heat oil in a large wok and deep fry the chicken. Drain the chicken on a plate with paper towels.
4. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup lemon juice (squeezed from the lemons), and 2 tablespoons olive oil to make the lemon sauce, and cook all ingredients in a wok. Add the cornstarch according to your desired level of consistency.
5. Pour the sauce on the chicken and mix it well.
*Note: My chicken looks a bit darker than the usual Chinese lemon chicken because I used brown sugar. The taste is the same and it’s healthier than white sugar.
You might be wondering why my version doesn’t have that yellow color that this dish has in Chinese restaurants. Well, I just found out the secret to that: yellow food coloring! You can just skip this like I did. 🙂