Citrus fruits are for me the only cheerful side of Winter seasonal food and lemon has always been my favourite, especially in desserts. When I saw Chicken in Lemon Sauce on Jeno’s Weeknite Meals I thought it was time to start exploring the tangy side of the savoury dishes too. The dish looked very appetising, but since I am not a big fan of sweet and sour combination in meat dishes (the ubiquitous sweet and sour pork is the last thing I would order in a Chinese restaurant), I was afraid it would end up similar. I needn’t have worried because there is no sweetness (only a bit of sugar is added for the general taste balance), while the tangy lemon juice and zest make this easy chicken dish original and complex. Not to mention its refreshing and spirit-lifting properties, most welcome in the coldest period of this Winter. Thank you, Jeno, for introducing me to a completely new and luscious combination of flavours.
I have kept all the original ingredients, but have slightly modified – or rather simplified – the preparation stages. I have skipped the cornstarch meat coating stage and left it only as a sauce thickener. I have also used chicken breasts instead of legs. As you see I have sprinkled it with roasted sesame seeds and it was a very pleasant crunchy addition, but it’s not obligatory (I sprinkle sesame seeds over everything). Click here to see Jeno’s recipe.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
2 small chicken breasts (or skinned legs)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
60 – 80 ml (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup) chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice wine (I used sake)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 green onion stalks , cut into 2 cm pieces
Cut up the breasts or the legs into bite-sized pieces.
Season them with soy sauce and put aside.
Wash the lemon (the best here would be an organic lemon), grate the zest and press the juice of half of it.
Mix the cornstarch with a bit of water, add the stock, the sugar, the rice wine, the lemon juice and the zest (from 1/2 of the whole lemon). Put aside.
Heat some oil in a pan.
Fry the chicken for a couple of minutes.
Add the garlic and the green onion.
Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked.
Pour the cornstarch and stock mixture and continue frying until the sauce thickens.
Serve with rice.