Sign up to get our best tips for stress-free dinners with 5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity now!
Chinese Lemon Chicken has crispy battered chicken pieces with a tangy sweet and sour lemon sauce. It’s a restaurant quality, better-than-take-out meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes!
This Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe is just like your favorite restaurant take-out, only better! It’s easy to make, tastes amazing and is sure to become a family favorite. Be sure to try some of our other favorite Asian-inspired recipes, like Crockpot Orange Chicken, Chicken Lo Mein, and Beef and Broccoli.
Crispy Sweet and Sour Chinese Lemon Chicken is a popular order at regional Chinese restaurants in the US, Britain, and Canada. It has battered chunks of chicken breast pieces that are fried for a super crunchy coating. Then it gets tossed with a thick, sweet, and tangy lemon sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions for a pretty finish.
It’s similar to orange chicken which has a sweet and spicy sauce. Instead of the heat, the lemon picks up the slack and provides a tangy flavor with every bite.
For the Chinese Lemon Chicken, here’s what you need:
* Be sure to see the recipe card below for the
complete list of ingredients and full instructions *
Don’t let the frying component scare you – this recipe is actually very easy to make.
Batter the chicken. Dip the chicken in the flour/cornstarch mixture, then the egg, then in the flour mixture again. Shake off excess with each dip, and set completely coated pieces on a wire rack while you continue battering all of the chicken.
Frying. While you’re battering the chicken heat up the oil in a large, deep pot. If you have a deep fry thermometer, it should read 350 degrees. A dutch oven works great, or a deep cast iron skillet. Frying can get messy, so the deeper the pot or skillet, the better.
Fry in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. If the chicken pieces are touching, they’re too close together and won’t get crispy. Arrange fried chicken pieces on a wire rack over a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain off the grease.
The lemon sauce is simple to make with just a few ingredients. Despite the added sugar, this is a really tangy sauce that will make your mouth pucker!
The first 5 ingredients are simmered together for a bit and then the slurry is added to thicken the sauce. The finished sauce is poured over the crispy chicken and tossed so it’s all coated in that tangy, sticky sauce.
Storage: If you have leftover Chinese Lemon Chicken, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing the chicken in the lemon sauce but if you anticipate leftovers, leave some of the crispy chicken unsauced. You can freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for 3-4 months. The sauce can also be frozen in a freezer container for 3-4 months.
Reheating: Keep in mind that fried chicken in sauce will lose it’s crunch as it cools. Reheating in a 350 degree oven will help you get some of that crispiness back, but it might still end up a little soggy. If you save some chicken and sauce and froze it separately, you can reheat the frozen chicken in the oven and the thawed sauce on the stovetop.
A typical meal at our house will include Chinese Lemon Chicken, steamed rice, and Oven Roasted Broccoli or Asparagus. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy I’ll go the Chinese take-out route and make a combo plate with Fried Rice and Chow Mein.
If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.