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Better-Than-Takeout Lemon Chicken | Chef John’s Cooking Class

Better-Than-Takeout Lemon Chicken | Chef John’s Cooking Class
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With tangy, sticky and sweet lemon sauce, this Lemon Chicken is much better than takeouts and takes 30 minutes to make. The chicken is fried to be crispy while the lemon sauce is delicious with a nice texture and dominant lemon flavor.

PRE TIME: 15 min
TOTAL TIME: 30 min
  • Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1/3 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Custard Powder
  • Chicken Marinade
  • 12 oz. Chicken Breast
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp. Custard Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Corn Starch
  • Crispy Coating
  • 3 cup Corn Starch
  • 1 1/2 qt. Cooking Oil
First, cut off the ends of the lemon. Then cut it with the hob method, put the knife flat and cut the whole lemon peel forward in one direction, and then change it into small pieces. The white pulp part in the middle should be removed, because it is astringent and bitter, and then the yellow part removed is cut into filaments, and the pulp is squeezed into juice and placed in a bowl for later use.
To make the lemon sauce: Take a medium bowl, pour in the lemon juice, salt, sugar, honey, white vinegar, and custard powder. Mix well and set aside.
Cut the chicken breast: first cut the chicken breast into 3 equal parts, then cut into small pieces along the grain, about 2.5-3-inch long and 0.2-inch thick, note: do not cut too thin or it will shrink when fried.
Marinate the chicken: In a medium bowl, add salt, Shaoxing cooking wine, eggs, custard powder, and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly and evenly. Note: If you don't have Shaoxing wine, you can use beer, rice wine, low-alcohol wine, or white wine instead.
Make the crispy coating: Coat the marinated chicken with the cornstarch and shake off excess.
In a deep fryer, add oil over on high heat. When the oil temperature reaches 325°F/170°C, turn to medium-low heat, add chicken and fry for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden yellow, then remove.
When the oil temperature rises again, pour in the chicken again and fry for about 20-30 seconds until golden brown, then remove them from the oil.
Use a small pot, turn on medium heat, pour in the prepared lemon sauce, stir continuously and bring to a boil until thick, add half of the sliced ​​lemons.
Plate the chicken, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with the remaining shredded lemon, and enjoy.
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