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Chinese Lemon Chicken

Because it's not fried, this lemon chicken recipe is a lighter take on the versions you'll find in Chinese restaurants. A frothy coating of egg white and cornstarch keeps the chicken superbly moist and tender and the lemon sauce is tangy, with just enough sweetness. The dish is a perfect choice for a quick weeknight meal. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch (4 or 5) scallions, sliced
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • For the sauce:
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons cold water

Preparation:
If necessary, remove the tenderloins from the chicken breasts and reserve for another use. Place the breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, gently pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch, then cut them into strips about 1/2-inch wide and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add the sesame oil, sherry, ground ginger, salt and pepper to the chicken. Mix well and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and cornstarch together until white and frothy. Add to the chicken and combine well.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Whisk the cornstarch and water together for the sauce and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Bring to boil, then add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir constantly until the sauce is smooth and reaches a syrupy consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Add the scallions, cook for 1 minute, then transfer to plates and spoon any sauce remaining in the pan over the chicken.

Makes 4 servings

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