I thought I was never going to get this honey lemon chicken recipe post out at the rate I was eating. One after another, I kept popping them into my mouth as I took the photographs. They were SO good! Crispy fried chicken coated in a tangy sweet lemony sauce. Yumm..
You can cut the chicken into cubes like I did or leave the chicken breasts/thighs whole. Then cut it up after it’s fried. I personally prefer the first method as the chicken will be easier to eat. Just like chicken popcorn but coated with a delicious, citrus-y and tangy sauce. 🙂
Related recipe: Sweet and Sour Whole Fish
I rarely deep-fry at home. One of the reasons is because deep-frying requires much more oil than other forms of cooking. It is pricey to toss away the leftover oil from frying a batch of chicken. So I did some research and found out that deep frying oil CAN be reused. The number of times it can be recycled will be determined by several factors.
- The type of coating used for the battered food. Breaded food and flour-dredged foods will leave behind the most food particles so the used oil is not suitable for more than 3 to 4 uses.
- The type of food that is fried. Vegetables will produce the cleanest leftover oil compared to fatty meats. Deep-frying meat will cause the oil to break down faster as the fat from the fried meat will mix with the frying oil.
- The choice of cooking oil. The higher the quality of oil that you start cooking with, the more times it can be reused. Every oil has its own smoking point; the temperature when it starts to break down and smoke. You’d want to use oil with a higher smoking point than the temperature for frying. Oils with high smoke point include peanut oil and canola oil.
- Oil storage. Keep the oil away from exposure to light and air as they will cause the oils to turn rancid or taste bad.
In case you’re wondering – yes, I did re-use the frying oil. After it cooled down, I strained it and kept it inside a container, covered. I will slowly but surely make my way through the oil for my stir-fries and general cooking.
Don’t reuse the oil too many times. After every use, its smoke point will drop. Also, never reuse cooking oil if it foams up during cooking or smells rancid.
Read more about ‘Can You Reuse Frying Oil’ from Epicurious.
Pour the sauce over the chicken right before serving. This is to maintain the crispiness for a longer time. Serve the honey lemon chicken with some steamed rice and vegetables or just eat as is. Enjoy!
You need to make this. Pronto. 🙂
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts / thighs – cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1 egg – beaten
- Cooking oil
- 3/4 tbsp light soy sauce (Angel Brand Light Soy Sauce, Premium, 9.2 Ounce)
- 1 tsp Shaoxing wine (Shaohsing (shaoxing) Rice Cooking Wine 750ml)
- ½ tsp sesame oil (Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil, 11 Fluid Ounce)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn flour
- ¾ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 cup of water
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- Sugar to taste
- 3/4 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
- Lemon zest
- Chopped spring onions
- Marinade the chicken pieces for about 30 minutes.
- Mix the ingredients for the coating and sift. Set aside.
- Prepare sauce. Add all ingredients for sauce (except honey) and mix well in a saucepan. Stir and bring it to a boil. Lower heat, add honey, stir and do a quick taste. Add more sugar if it is too sour. Slowly pour in cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce to your preferred consistency.
- To fry, dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg first before coating with the mixed flour. Shake off excess flour.
- Heat up oil in a wok or dutch oven (till 180°C). Carefully add the chicken pieces into the dutch oven. Do this one at a time to prevent the chicken pieces from sticking and in 2 batches. Deep-fry till golden brown. Let the oil heat up again before putting in the next batch. Don’t overcook the chicken pieces or the meat will be tough. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.
- Pour lemon sauce over the chicken and coat well just before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with spring onions and lemon zest. Best to serve immediately.
If you try this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag #souperdiaries on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
Josh Ellery says
The combination of chicken and lemon sounds original and tasty, very good idea. I’ve seen a lot of complicated recipes on the internet but this is a refreshing change. Your choice of peanut butter oil as well is quite cool as i’ve never seen it before. Where can I buy the peanut butter oil from?
I used peanut oil, not peanut butter oil as it has a high smoke point. You can find it at a supermarket or get it here from Amazon.
I had made lemon chicken a month back and it didn’t come out as good.After going through this article, I realized my mistake and I’ll give it a try soon.
Is there a substitute for Shaoxing wine?
Your recipe sounds simple and to the point without any complications. Looking forward for more recipes like this.
Thank you for such a great dinner idea! I’m with you about cutting up the chicken prior to cooking. I bought myself a cheap pair of Fiskars scissors in the back to school aisle of the local shopping store, and I use those specifically for cutting up my chicken into cubes!! I have found too that if you leave your chicken breasts a bit on the frozen side, they cut up nicely! Boneless of course :o)!
Also, I was wondering what you thought about trading out the flour for Panko Bread Crumbs and adding the cornmeal and baking powder to that and then baking instead of frying? Do you think it would work?
Anyway, I love your recipe. I think I’m going to give it a try! :o) Thanks again.
Thanks for the tip on making chicken breasts easier to cut. I’ve not tried substituting the flour for Panko bread crumbs, adding cornmeal and baking the chicken. The texture of the chicken would not be the same as panko is light and airy. But if you do try it that way, do let me know if it works. Thanks! 🙂
OMG This looks awesome! I think I may try something similar today! The only thing I may possibly have to do is change the flour used because I am currently doing really low carb. I’m not sure if you cook with other flours, but do you think I could substitute for coconut flour or almond flour? Thanks! Really thorough and easy to read.
Yes, you can substitute with coconut flour or almond flour. I’ve not personally tried it though but I read that you can deep fry with them. I’m curious to know how this recipe will turn out with those flour. If you try this out, do let us know how it goes. Thanks so much!
Wow! This Lemon Chicken recipe looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try. I’m like you. I’ll probably devour the entire thing before anybody gets a chance to eat it. I tend to like a little heat. I’m wondering if you can suggest something to make it a bit spicy?
Chinese lemon chicken typically do not contain any spicy ingredients. You can add a little chili powder when marinating if you want it to be a bit spicy. I personally have not tried that though so let us know how it turns out if you do.
I have some recipes that are spicy if you enjoy heat in your food. You may want to try them out:
Curry Chicken with Potatoes
Nyonya Curry Chicken
Ikan Asam Pedas (Spicy Tamarind Fish)
This recipe looks so tasty and its crazy that I just came across this site because I’ve been wanting to make lemon chicken for a long time now. I think your site nails it big time because you detail what is needed on this recipe and it seems very simple to do. Since I like pepper I think I would add a little pepper in it to give it that spicy feel but overall this food looks very delicious. Well done Vonnie!
Oh I love lemon chicken and it looks like you’ve perfected this one!
I love the combination of citrus tang and chicken, especially when it’s crunchy.
Do you have a recipe of orange chicken as well?
I don’t have the orange chicken on my blog yet but thanks for the inspiration. I might just make a post on it. Stay tuned! 🙂
Hi Yvonne, great post. This recipe looks amazing. I’m always searching for new recipes to make for my picky kids. This definitely looks like something they will like. It looks pretty easy to make and the only thing that I don’t have is the corn flour. Thanks for the new recipe.
Oh yum. This looks delicious! I bought some lemon chicken the other day from the supermarket and it was amazing but it was a bit pricey and it would be cheaper to try and make my own. This sounds pretty similar and probably tastes even better home made actually.
Definitely going to give this recipe a try.
Yes, homemade is definitely better than takeout and it’s cheaper too. 🙂