Lemon Chicken: Chinese Takeout Classic

Lemon Chicken is a dish that marries the zesty freshness of lemon with the comforting, savory flavors of fried chicken, a staple in the world of Chinese takeout. This dish has become a favorite among those who appreciate the delicate balance of citrus and sweetness, coated over tender chicken that’s been crisped to golden perfection. Originating from the Cantonese region, Lemon Chicken has since spread its wings across the globe, with variations popping up in kitchens everywhere. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own, or served alongside a steaming bowl of rice or stir-fried vegetables, making it a truly satisfying meal.

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • Sliced lemon for garnish
  • Green onions, chopped for garnish

Cooking Steps for Lemon Chicken

  • Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Dip the floured chicken into the beaten eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or wok and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • In a saucepan, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, water, light soy sauce, and grated ginger. Whisk until smooth.
  • Heat the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Once thickened, remove from heat.
  • Place the fried chicken on a serving platter and pour the thickened lemon sauce over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated.
  • Garnish with sliced lemon and chopped green onions.
  • Serve hot with your preferred side dish.

In conclusion, Lemon Chicken is a vibrant and flavorful dish that can easily brighten up any mealtime. For the best experience, it is essential to use fresh lemons, as the zest and juice are integral to the dish’s signature flavor. When selecting chicken, opt for high-quality, fresh chicken breasts that will remain tender and moist when cooked. The key to a crispy coating lies in the quality of the breadcrumbs and ensuring the oil is at the right temperature for frying. With the right ingredients and a little care in preparation, you can recreate the magic of Chinese takeout classic Lemon Chicken in your own kitchen, with all the zest and gusto of the original.

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