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Marion’s Best Lemon Chicken

Ditch the Chinese takeout imposter for real-deal deliciousness with my version of the classic. Crispy fried chicken that can resist that sweet, sticky lemon sauce without going soggy? You heard me – this is my best lemon chicken recipe ever.

PREP TIME
20 minutes
COOK TIME
10 minutes
SERVES
4
Ingredients

600g (1 lb 5 oz) chicken breast, cut into 1cm (⅜ inch) thick slice

1 egg white, beaten well

2 tsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*

3 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1½ tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

sea salt

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and very finely sliced on the diagonal

 

Coating

¾ cup plain (all purpose) flour

½ cup cornflour (cornstarch)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

 

Lemon sauce

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup lemon juice

⅓ cup caster (superfine) sugar

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 1½ tbsp water

Steps
  • Step 1

    Add the chicken, egg white, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour to a large bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, for the coating, whisk the flour, cornflour, salt and baking power in a bowl. Fill a saucepan or wok to about one-third capacity with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Heat oil to 180°C (350°F), or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil produces lots of bubbles.

  • Step 3

    While the oil heats, let’s make the lemon sauce. Combine the stock, lemon juice, sugar, rice vinegar, Shadowing wine and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cornflour mixture to the sauce and simmer for 1 minute or until thickened. Keep warm.

  • Step 4

    Working in two batches, add the chicken to the coating mixture, tossing it well to coat each piece. Cook half the chicken in the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a tray lined with baking paper, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

  • Step 5

    Arrange the lemon slices on a serving platter, then pile the chicken on top. Drizzle with the hot lemon sauce, scatter with the spring onion, then serve.

  • Notes
    Notes:

    – Chinese Shaoxing wine is a type of cooking rice wine. It’s available in the Asian aisle of some major supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store. If you’d rather leave it out, simply replace with chicken stock.

What does lemon chicken taste like?

Lemon chicken is a highly popular Chinese recipe that you’ll find on many restaurant and takeaway menus. Our version of Chinese lemon chicken features boneless and skinless chicken breast that’s dredged in a coating, then fried until it’s golden and crispy. Lemon sauce gets drizzled on top, which is a tangy mix of sweet and sour.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

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Deb
November 16, 2023

Simply the best 🥰

Thank you Marion . I am now a Marion’s kitchen convert. I have made this twice and both times delicious. This is by far the tastiest and easiest, repeat, tastiest and easiest lemon chicken I’ve ever made. Definitely a keeper.

Jasper
August 28, 2023

Just superb

Easy to cook, and definitely better than any I’ve had in a Chinese restaurant. And even heats up again ok the next day.

Kathy
August 2, 2023

Amazing Lemon Chicken

My husband always orders this when we get takeout and I never eat it. After seeing this recipe and watching the video, I loved it and so did the husband. Really easy to make.

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