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Lemon chicken, let's celebrate spring!

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April 1, 2010

Lemon chicken, let's celebrate spring!

 Lemon chicken
 I like lemons and I like spring. I would like to show you how I make my lemon chicken today but before I start, I would like to ask you to read this poem with me to get in the mood of spring, would ya?

by William Blake
Sound the Flute!
Now it's mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night
In the dale
Lark in Sky
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

 Little Boy
Full of joy,
Little Girl
Sweet and small,
Cock does crow
So do you.
Merry voice
Infant noise
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Lamb
Here I am.
Come and lick
My white neck.
Let me pull
Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft face
Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year

       And below is my husband's poem  
Ode to the lemon chicken
How do I love thee? 
Let me count the ways
Thou art sweet 
Thou art sour

Okay, enough of poem here! Let's get down to business to defeat the ???

You will need chicken breast, lemon, corn starch, potato starch, egg, rice wine, salt, sugar, and honey. 
I forgot to add honey in the picture. Soooooorry!

First, you need to mix equal part of corn starch and water in a bowl.
Keep in the fridge for a few hours.
Overnight is even better. This will help the batter create a nice crisp texture later. 
If you don't have time to make this ahead of time, 
just use dry corn starch and add about 1Tbsp of water or more to the batter.

As you see the water will separate from the starch and you will have the pure corn starch ready to use.
I did not have much time to let it sit so some of the starch is following the water. 
If you let it sit for at least 4 hours the starch will remain firm.
Drain the water as much as possible. Set a side.

Cut the chicken breast into 1/2" thick sticks.

Season with some salt, egg yolk, rice wine and pepper. 
Follow your instinct on salt and pepper.

 Grate some zest from the lemon, and squeeze out all the juice.
In a bowl mix lemon zest, juice, sugar, honey, salt, water, and potato starch.
You can use corn starch instead but potato starch gives nice shine to the sauce when cooked.
I like shiny stuff. Bling-bling!

Now, beat the egg white with all your heart and soul until it forms a stiff peak.
The meringue will form the air in the batter and yields crisp texture.

In a bowl add chicken, corn starch, egg white and mix just until until combined. 
The batter should not be too runny or too thick. 
Just thick enough to coat the chicken.

Heat some oil in the pan on medium-high. 
I like to use a pan shaped like Chinese wok for deep frying. 
You only need about 1 1/2" deep of oil in the wok.
Check oil temperature by dropping a little batter to see if it floats up right away with big bubbles. 
 If you are a lucky one to have a deep fryer, the temperature should be 180C.

 Drop the chicken pieces in a little batch at a time and deep fry for 1minute. 
You are going to deep fry twice to create real crisp texture.
Don't be afraid of deep frying.
If the temperature is right and you deep fry fast and drain well,
 it doesn't soak up that much oil actually.

After the first frying. 
Here is a tip. when you take them out from the oil, 
shake them up by tapping on the side of the pan. 
This will help to remove oil and the moisture in the batter to exit.
That's how the Chinese chef deep fry their meat.
They use a big mesh utensil and toss them in before putting on the plate.

Now, here is after second frying. It takes about 1-2 minutes.
Do you see the texture is crisper and the color got deepen?
You can just eat one right there. I usually do that.

Heat a small pan over high heat until it gets very hot.
Pour the sauce and let it bubble up to thicken, stirring constantly until it becomes like a glaze.
 You can add 1Tbsp of hot oil to increase its shine.

 Add the chicken pieces to the glaze and toss well fast.
You need to be lightening fast to serve these guys.

Thanks for reading my blog, folks!
Please, take my gift of tulips from my heart 
Happy Spring! 

Lemon chicken
serves 2-3

3/4lb (300g) chicken breast cut into 1/2" sticks
2t rice wine
1 egg, separated
dashes of salt and pepper
1/2C Corn starch
1/2C water
Oil for deep frying

Juices of 2 lemons or 5T
1t lemon zest
3T sugar
3T honey
1 1/4t salt
1/3C water
2t potato starch or corn starch

Mix 1/2C corn starch with 1/2C water in a small bowl and keep in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. The water will get separated from the starch and drain all the water carefully. Set a side.

In a bowl mix chicken pieces with 1 egg yolk, rice wine and some salt and pepper. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile beat the egg white until it forms a stiff peak. Add the egg whites and the drained corn starch into the chicken mixture. Mix them until combined.

Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients.

Heat oil in the pan on medium-high heat until it reaches to 180C.
Deep fry chicken pieces in a small batch at a time for 1 minute. Remove them from oil by gently shaking them up and transfer onto paper towel. Just before serving, deep fry the chicken pieces again for the second time for 1-2 minutes. Transfer onto paper towel.

Moving quickly heat a small pan on high heat until it gets hot. Pour the sauce and let it thicken until it becomes like a glaze stirring constantly. You can add 1Tbsp of hot oil to the sauce if you like to increase shine. Add the chicken and toss well.

Serve immediately.

Printable recipe

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At April 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM , Blogger FlyingRoo said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial, great pictures. I cannot wait to make this, I can finally put to work my brand new cast iron wok! Oh, and I love that little pan you used at the end, it's a bit conical, right?

At April 2, 2010 at 6:00 PM , Blogger beyondkimchee said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, FlyingRoo!
The little pan I used at the end is just plain, old, small non-stick frying pan. It is not conical.

At January 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous Katarzyna Świderska said...

Wow. This looks so delicious! I'm to cook it tomorrow. I love chicken and lemon. I just have to look for corn starch.

At January 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM , Anonymous Katarzyna Świderska said...

OK. I've made it. Of course I had to make a mistake and I add 2 Table spoons potato starch instead of 2 teaspoons :).
But beside that it was delicious! Love your recipe. 

At January 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I am glad to hear that you liked it. I am sure the glaze became very thick but that would also give a different look on the dish.


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