Friday, July 8, 2011

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken
I love lemon chicken! It's one of my favourite Chinese takeout items. So it won't come as a surprise when I tell you that this recipe was born from my first attempt at making 'takeout at home', well over a year and a half ago. I was living in a new city that lacked good Chinese food so I thought, "Why not make it myself"? It turned out so well that the meal changed my views on takeout and my own eating habits. Yes you CAN make it at home! It WILL taste better and it will most definitely be HEALTHIER! 30 pounds later I can definitely attest that making your food yourself makes you much more aware of what you are putting in your body. Once you realize this, changing your eating habits and losing weight becomes much easier. 

Not only is this dish special because it was the first ever Asian recipe I mastered, but it is also has the honor of being the first meal I prepared for my then boyfriend and now husband Shawn. Lemon chicken brings nothing but good memories and full tummies in this household :)

Lemon Chicken
 
by Kaitlyn McFadden

Marinade: 
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • Large bowl 
Let the chicken hang out in the marinade in the bowl for at least 30 mins in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.

Batter:
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup cornstarch 
  • ½ tsp baking powder 
  • Pinch of sea salt and white pepper (black is fine) 
  • Transfat free oil for the skillet/wok 
Beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the bowl of marinated chicken. Stir and toss to coat. Add the salt and pepper to the cornstarch and sprinkle the cornstarch on top of the chicken a little at a time. Toss the chicken in-between cornstarch sprinkles to coat the chicken evenly. Once fully coated, using tongs, pick up the chicken piece by piece, allowing excess egg batter to drip back into the bowl, and place into a large heated and lightly oiled skillet/wok. Give each piece some room in the skillet to prevent them from sticking together. Brown the chicken on both sides and then reduce heat to low and cover with a pot lid until the chicken is fully cooked.

Sauce:
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice or the juice from one whole lemon (I add an extra tbsp because I like it extra lemony) 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil 
  • 3 slices of lemon (optional) 
  • 2-3 drops of yellow food colouring (optional) 
Combine ingredients (minus the food colouring) and heat in saucepan until thickened. Add the food colouring once thickened.

Serve :
I serve this all in one pretty glass bowl in a layered “Trifle-Style”. I add the cooked brown rice to the bottom of the bowl. Then I add the chicken as the next layer and pour the sauce evenly over top of the chicken. Set on the table with a serving spoon and everyone can dig into lemony-chicken goodness!

It's Lemon Chicken for dinner tonight! BTW we love our bowls Aunt Cindy!