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Chinese my-style Lemon Chicken

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For those that recall the tender, tongue tingling sweetness of lemon chicken from your local Chinese store, you’ll be with me when I say I miss the days of piling fried rice into takeaway containers and deciding between Lemon Chicken or Sweet and Sour… and a number of other delectable morsels that we can only hope to impersonate in our kitchens.

Personally, I have had days where I’ve craved the atmosphere and aroma’s – that only a good Chinese restaurant can provide – so much that I’m tempted to forego the strict dietary needs and just say “stuff it” … only to remember how terrible I felt the following days and how worth it might be for a few minutes (who doesn’t inhale it), but not worth it for the following days. I haven’t cracked yet, thankfully, which leads me to this recipe.



2 medium chicken breasts (approx. 500g)
1 L egg
1 tbsp. water
2/3 C cornflour
2 tbsp. GF plain flour
Juice of 3 lemons (I hand juiced mine which = approximately 1/2 C lemon juice)
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. GF soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 C water
2 tsp. cornflour
Extra virgin olive oil for shallow frying.


Add oil to a wok or fry pan to approximately 2cm deep. Preheat oven to 100C and line a baking tray with kitchen towel.
Whisk the egg and the tablespoon of water in a bowl and set aside.
Add the 2/3 C cornflour and plain flour to a mixing bowl and whisk briefly to combine.
Cut the chicken into 1-1.5cm bite size pieces and toss in the egg mixture.
Shake off the excess egg and toss the chicken in the flour mixture (I do it by the handful rather than individual pieces - after doing it by individual pieces and then trying it this way, the end result was no different - just make sure everything is coated and not sticking together)
Juice the lemons into a saucepan, add the maple syrup, white pepper and soy sauce.
Bring the lemon mixture to the boil, meanwhile whisk together the cup of water and remaining cornflour until dissolved. Add this to the lemon mixture, whisk through and remove from the heat while you cook the chicken.
Heat the oil on medium-high. Once hot, tap off excess flour mixture from the chicken and gently (and carefully) place into the oil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken pieces once a crust has formed and starting to turn golden. Place on the oven tray lined with paper towel and then repeat the process until you have cooked all the chicken (it took me 2 batches in a medium wok with hot oil). Place the tray of chicken pieces in the oven to retain heat. Bring the lemon sauce back to the stove and heat, whisking gently. To serve, toss the chicken through the lemon sauce. Serve with rice or green vegetables.