Lemon Chicken Recipe

This Lemon Chicken Recipe is a one of my most requested family meals. The crispy chicken thighs are topped with a sweet and tangy lemon sauce and served on top of rice.

lemon chicken

Growing up one of my favorite family dinners was a Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe that my mother made. The lemon chicken recipe was passed on from my grandmother. My mother didn’t make it too often, but whenever she did, she would always doubled the recipe so that I could have the leftovers the next day. I was lucky if there were any left for the next day, as everyone loved the crispy chicken with a sweet and sour sauce. E

Every year my siblings and I could choose what we ate for our birthday 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 lemon chicken recipe down to that I could continue making my favorite family 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.

Chinese Lemon Chicken is what’s for dinner!

If you ask my son what he wants for dinner…the answer is almost always “chicken with lemon sauce.”

The sauce is the best part and it’s so easy to make. You can also make the Lemon Sauce Recipe and serve it on top of pork chops or toss it with pasta to make lemon chicken pasta.

Lemon Chicken Recipe:

Before getting started, make sure you have everything on hand to make Lemon Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast)
  • 3 cups vegetable oil

Ingredients for the Lemon Chicken Batter

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 green onions sliced (optional)

Lemon Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp instant chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp ginger

How to make Lemon Chicken

Chicken:

  1. Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces
    • If using chicken breasts – remove  fat from chicken and discard. Cut breasts in half. Pound chicken lightly with mallet or rolling pin. Cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Gradually blend in water and egg yolks.
  3. Pour oil into wok. Heat over medium/high until oil reaches 375 degrees. Dip chicken into cornstarch-egg yolk mixture. Fry in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm until you are finished cooking remaining chicken. You’ll want to make sure internal temp is at least 165 degrees F.
  4. Serve on top of rice and top with lemon sauce. Garnish with green onion.

Lemon Sauce:

  1. 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.

chicken with lemon sauce

lemon chicken recipe

Lemon Chicken
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 green onions sliced (optional)
Lemon Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp ginger
Instructions
For Chicken:
  1. Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch peices.

  2. Combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Gradually blend in water and egg yolks.
  3. Pour oil into wok. Heat over medium/high until oil reaches 375 degrees. Dip chicken into cornstarch-egg yolk mixture. Fry in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm until you are finished cooking remaining chicken. You'll want to make sure the chicken internal temp is at least 165 degrees F.

  4. Serve on top of rice and top with lemon sauce. Garnish with green onion.

For Sauce:
  1. 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.
Make with boneless chicken breast:
Instead of cutting into 1 inch pieces, cut chicken breasts in half lenght wise. Pound chicken lightly with mallet or rolling pin. Dip chicken into the cornstarch mixture and fry until golden brown, and internal temp reaches 165 degrees F.  Cut each breast into three or four pieces and arrange on a serving plate, top with lemon sauce and green onions.
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.

 

Comments

  1. Elena says:

    Looks delicious!

  2. Amy Orvin says:

    I’d love to try this recipe. I don’t care for leftovers either, but I think I’d eat this gone.

  3. Laura Jacobson says:

    Oh that looks really good and not too hard for me!! We love getting lemon chicken when we go out to eat, but I have never tried it at home!

  4. sara m ford says:

    this sounds amazing!!!! oh I will be making this asap for the family. thank you so much