Autumn Chicken w/ Lemon Sauce
by Michelle Young
In the Northeast region of the United States, where I live, autumn’s brilliant blazing foliage has given way to the now bared trees that preclude winter’s white splendor. Our kitchens are often filled with the heavenly aromas of baking breads, stews, and crisp apples at this time of year. But some dishes can carry you through the year. Chicken with Lemon Sauce is one of those dishes.
The recipe varies from Chinese restaurant to Chinese restaurant.
In some places, you’ll find the sauce tending to possess a reddish
color while in others, you’ll find it yellow. The reddish sauce tends to be sweeter. I prefer the tart, so you’ll find this sauce is yellow.
When I met my husband in 1980, I told him I could cook Chinese food. The look on his face told me he didn’t really believe me and probably was thinking, “Anyone can open a can of Chun King.” He later told me that was exactly what he was thinking!
Chicken with Lemon Sauce is one of those really easy dishes that will have everyone swearing you too know how to cook Chinese food. Serve this with white rice–or fried–and a stir fried green vegetable, perhaps some almond cookies and orange wedges for dessert, and you’ll have a still budget conscious meal fit for a king, and the admiration of all who taste this delightful dish!
Chicken with Lemon Sauce
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) rice, white or dry sherry wine
1 to 2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) Superior soy sauce (light soy is okay,
but the store brand light is actually closer than
1 egg yolk
1/8 (.6 ml) teaspoon pepper
1 to 1.5 pounds boneless, skinned chicken breasts, cut into
1.5 to 2-inch bite-sized pieces
6 tablespoons (90 ml) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (15 ml) flour
1/4 cup sugar (60 ml) sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60-120 ml) homemade or kosher chicken broth
2 teaspoons (10 ml) cornstarch
1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5 to 7.5 ml) sesame oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup (60-72.5 ml) fresh or concentrated lemon juice
oil for deep frying
In a medium-sized bowl, blend marinade ingredients. Add chicken pieces to marinade, and let stand 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, blend 6 tablespoons cornstarch and the flour.
Coat chicken pieces, one by one, in this mixture.
In another small bowl, blend Lemon Sauce ingredients until
well-blended, and set aside.
Heat oil for deep-frying pan to approximately 350º. Place coated
chicken pieces in heated oil, and deep-fry until light golden color,
about 3 minutes. Place pieces of chicken on absorbent paper
towels when done frying. Arrange on attractive platter.
Remove 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the heated deep-frying oil from fryer, and place in 1 quart saucepan. When this oil has been reheated in pan, stir Lemon Sauce into oil, and bring to a boil. When slightly thickened, remove pan from heat.
Pour sauce over chicken pieces at once, before allowing sauce to cool, evenly coating chicken. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6, depending on rest of menu. For added flavor and eye
appeal, garnish with fresh lemon slices or twisted fresh slices.
Remember, the more lemon juice you add, the more tart the flavor.
Till next time, bon appetit!
Michelle Young ©2002
©2003 Michelle Young
Author of “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Meeting the Challenge of Our Multicultural America & Beyond” (Caddo Gap Press, 1996)