I have never made lemon chicken before but I decided to yesterday as I had a big bag of Meyer lemons and some left over chicken thighs in the fridge. I used Neil Perry's recipe from his book 'balance and harmony'. Actually now that I am looking at it I didn't follow it exactly.
I will give you his recipe and then tell you what I did differently.
For this recipe you will need
- 300g chicken thighs cut into 1 cm slices - I cut mine bigger
- 1 egg lightly beaten - I used an extra egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of cornflour
- vegetable oil for deep frying - I use my wok
- 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar - I used rice wine vinegar
- a pinch of Sichuan pepper - I didn't have any - I used chile powder and sesame seeds
- 2 spring onions
Put the chicken, egg and sea salt in a bowl, toss together and leave for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the egg, allowing the excess to drip away, and toss in the cornflour until evenly coated. I actually added the flour to the egg mixture and formed a batter (by accident).
Heat the oil in a wok or deep fryer until smoking (180C) and deep fry the chicken pieces until golden and cooked through, then drain on paper towel. I shallow fried and turned them over.
For the sauce, finely grate the zest from half a lemon, then juice the whole lemon. Peel and fillet the other lemon. Put the sugar, vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, lemon fillets, zest and juice in a small pot. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and remove form heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper and spring onions to serve. I added a little cornflour so the sauce was thicker.
These are really just glorified chicken nuggets that would go with any type of sauce.