Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Awesome Lemon Chicken Recipe!

This is my very coveted, very awesome recipe for lemon chicken that I'm willing to share with my wonderful readers. After you eat just one bite of this dish, I promise you, you won't want to order the lemon chicken you get in Chinese restaurants ever again!

This is my own spin on an adaptation from Emeril Lagasse's recipe.  This version is much healthier, and in my opinion, much tastier. Click on the link for Emeril's original recipe.

My version is both sweet and tangy but the great thing about making your own meals from scratch is that you can change it up anyway you want.  Use less sugar if you want it less sweet - use less lemon if you want it less tangy.  If you want it spicy, Sriracha is a great sauce to have on hand - start off sparingly if  you want to try it - it's very potent.  Feel free to adapt my recipe to what your family's tastes are.

Lemon Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size strips or cubes
  • 1-1/2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
    (arrowroot is the healthier option)
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • a healthy oil such as olive or coconut (my preference is coconut oil)
  • the juice from 1 lemon OR 2-3 drops of YL lemon essential oil (or a combination of each!)  ** I buy my essential oils from here.**
  • the zest of a lemon OR a little more lemon essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of  brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced/grated ginger root OR a toothpick swirl of ginger essential oil  **Here's where I buy my ginger oil.**
  • 1/2 cup julienned green onions - around 2 or 3 'stalks' - split up
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Trim and cut up the chicken and start the chicken browning in a pan with a little bit of oil. 

While the chicken cooks, make the sauce by combining the chicken stock, soy sauce, lemon juice/or lemon essential oil, lemon zest, and brown sugar.  The zest is to add flavor without adding excess liquid which why the addition of lemon essential oil is a great idea because of it's concentrated flavor!

TIP: If you're using the lemon juice from the lemon instead of lemon essential oil, zest the lemon FIRST before juicing it. It makes for a very difficult zesting experience trying to do it with a squished lemon!

Stir the sauce well and test the sauce for taste. It should taste lemony and tangy!

Remove the chicken from the pan (keep warm in the oven on a low setting if desired) and add a little more oil to the pan with half of the green onions (1/4 cup), the grated ginger root/or ginger oil, and the minced garlic. NOTE:  If you elect to use the ginger essential oil, just a toothpick swirl into the ginger oil bottle and then swirled into the pan will do it!  

Stir the mixture constantly so that nothing burns. If the pan is really hot, just cook 30 seconds or so.

Add the sauce mixture to the pan. Get the sauce nice and hot so that it boils and there are a LOT of bubbles.  You might have to stir it down a bit to avoid the bubbles popping and splattering.  Add the arrowroot/cornstarch and water mixture when the sauce is hot and bubbly and stir it constantly while the sauce thickens.

Return the cooked chicken pieces to the pan and coat thoroughly with the sauce. 

Serve over steamed rice and top the entire dish with the other 1/2 of the green onions (1/4 cup) and the toasted sesame seeds.

I can't emphasize tasting the dish all the way through the cooking process so that the taste is exactly to your liking.

This dish is SO yummy!  I usually just put the rice on a huge platter and top it with the chicken and sauce and bring it to the table with a large serving spoon.  With my family, it usually is gobbled up completely with nothing to save for left-overs. 

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