Growing up one of my favorite family dinners was a Chinese Lemon Chicken that my mother made, a recipe passed on from my grandmother. My mother didn’t make it too often, but whenever she did, she would always doubled the recipe so I could have the leftovers, I was lucky if there was any left for the next day. Every birthday my siblings and I could choose what we ate for dinner and my answer was always…..lemon chicken. Bite sized battered chicken covered in a sweet lemon sauce. When I moved to Virginia I made sure that she wrote the recipe down to that I could continue making my favorite meal. The first time I made it for my husband it was a huge hit, and is now it is one of his favorite meals also. My husband never eats leftovers, but he will eat lemon chicken leftovers.
- 4 whole chicken breasts
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 4 egg yolks (lightly beaten)
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 4 green onions, sliced (optional)
- 1½ cups water
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 3½ tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
- 1 tsp ginger
- Remove skin & fat from chicken and discard. Cut breasts in half. Pound chicken lightly with mallet or rolling pin.
- Combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Gradually blend in water and egg yolks.
- Pour oil into wok. Heat over high until oil reaches 375 degrees. Dip chicken breasts, one at a time, into cornstarch-egg yolk mixture. Fry breasts 2-3 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown. Drain breasts on paper towel and keep warm until you are finished cooking remaining chicken.
- Cut each breast into three or four pieces and arrange on a serving plate, sprinkle with onions.
- Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan, stir until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour over chicken.
I usually cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces, instead of cooking 1/2 a breast at a time, this is just something my mother always did and I continue to do. The sauce is the best part and it’s very important that you stir the lemon sauce constantly, if you don’t it will not come out correctly, I made this mistake the first time I made it myself, the cornstarch will not dissolve and it doesn’t look or taste right.
We serve the lemon chicken and sauce on top of white rice.