You know a recipe has to be good if you have been making it for over the past 25 years! My family keeps asking for it and I usually try to appease them and make it once a year. No, this Lemon Chicken doesn't whip up in minutes, because there is deep frying involved, but it is worth the time.
Lemon Chicken was featured on my Chinese New Year's Table yesterday.
This recipe and I go waaaaay back.
- My sister Jacqueline, Purple Chocolat Home, and I used to hold Chinese feasts and invite my brothers and various roommates to dinner. We were all living, except my eldest sister Jean, in the same town then. I learned then that Jacqueline is speedy quick in the kitchen.
- Then there was the time that my roommates and I invited some of our guy friends to a Chinese feast at the soon-to-be retirement home of my roommate's parents. We made Lemon Chicken and some other Chinese Dishes. There wasn't a phone in the home yet and there were no cell phones back then. We waited and waited for the guys to come. After about an hour, we decided to begin eating.-- yes, we did! By the time they showed up, there really wasn't too much of the feast left! We did still remain friends.
- I also made Lemon Chicken one year for a Family Feast for over 20 people during the 2002 Olympics that were held in Utah.
- I served Lemon Chicken, and had the girls help deep fry, at my daughter's 9th Chinese birthday party. See the dragon cake I made below. It's a pre-blogging picture. It's just a Bundt Cake cut in pieces. The long dragon tail is filled with candy and tied with ribbon.
Recipe for Lemon Chicken
Note: I adapted this recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook Chinese Cooking, by Leeann Chin printed in 1981. I think the book was a gift from Jacqueline or my mother. This recipe makes enough chicken for a feast, you may want to halve the recipe if just cooking for a small family. To decrease preparation time, you could cook the chicken in larger pieces and then cut the chicken into smaller pieces before serving. I never do that because we LOVE the batter.
3 pounds of chicken, cut into small pieces
Vegetable oil for frying
Serve over cooked rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking solda
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup honey
9 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice -- don't use concentrate
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons catsup
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Dash of white pepper
Peel of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoon cold water
Lemon, thinly sliced for garnish
1. Marinating Chicken: Place chicken in 13 x 9x 2-inch glass baking pan. In separate bowl, put together the ingredients for the marinade, as listed above. Turn chicken to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade.
2. Lemon Sauce: While chicken is in the refrigerator, add the lemon sauce ingredients, as listed above, except the cornstarch and the water, until mixture is brought to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. At this point, in a small prep bowl, add the cornstarch and water together and mix well. Then add cornstarch mixture to sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 10-20 seconds. Remove from heat and remove lemon peel; you can put mixture through a fine strainer.
She isn't pretty, but my electric wok gets the job done. I think my sister-in-law Lisa gave me this wok, but awhile back the thrift stores had tons of electric woks.
3. Deep Frying: Heat vegetable oil (about 2-3 inches) in an electric Wok (or other electric deep-frying appliance) to 350 degrees. Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, in the batter. Before you place each piece of battered chicken in the hot oil, shake off the excess batter. Fry 8-10 pieces at a time, until lightly brown -- about 2-3 minutes. I usually find that the first few pieces take longer to cook; after the process gets going, the oil is heated up and the chicken cooks quicker. Remove and drain chicken on a paper towel-lined jelly roll pan. I frequently check the chicken for doneness, by cutting the pieces, to make sure there is no pink color. To keep the deep-fried chicken warm, put jelly roll pan in a 200 degree oven with foil over the top.
Happy little chicken pieces sizzling away.
4. Arrange deep-fried chicken on a platter, pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and garnish with lemon slices. I usually have extra sauce and I serve it on the side. Serve with cooked rice.
I hope you make Lemon Chicken and serve it to those you love.
Posted with the following:
Foodie Friday, Feature Yourself Friday, I'm Lov'n It, Fun With Food Friday, Tickled Pink, Weekend Wrapup, Made By You Monday