A make-at-home version of the classic buffet-style fried chicken in a thick, gooey lemon sauce! Chinese Buffet Style Lemon Chicken is everything you need to make dinner extra special.
I’ve always been a sucker for Chinese Buffet Style Lemon Chicken. I remember years past when we would all go to a Chinese buffet for a family dinner, and my mom and my sister would load up on the lemon chicken along with me. My brother and my dad may have liked it, but I don’t remember either of them eating as much of it as we did.
A few weeks ago, my daughter celebrated her fifteenth birthday and she wanted to celebrate by having all of the family get together at her favourite Chinese buffet. Well, unlike my ex wife and sister-in-law, I don’t waste time at Chinese buffets with salad or wonton soup. Nope! I make my way to the good stuff right away. At $28 bucks per person, who wants to fill up on broth? Not me! No sir! No thanks!
This particular visit though, I noticed that my ex mother-in-law also loves lemon chicken. I think she may have had two servings of it. I could be wrong, I wasn’t really paying attention to how much lemon chicken everyone was eating, as long as there was enough of it on the buffet table for me! Ha!
Once the dinner was done, I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed more Chinese Buffet Style Lemon Chicken, so I started scouring through my recipe books looking for a lemon chicken recipe that would fit my cooking style – budget friendly, easy, fast, simple, and family oriented. I think I hit the nail on the head with this one!
Again, whenever I cook anything with chicken or meat, I always share with my lovely neighbours. I think this one received more praise than any other chicken recipe I’ve posted to Lord Byron’s Kitchen in the past two or three months. I met one neighbour outside on the street and she hurried up to me with her thanks and compliments. I was so happy!
It’s no secret that I’ve always believed cooking to be such a personal experience. And, as much as I value the thoughts and suggestions of those who taste my recipes, it still stings quite a bit when I get a negative comment.
Feedback is important when testing a recipe, I’ll be the first to admit that. But, when it’s a recipe that I have prepared over and over, or a recipe from a family member or a friend, or even just a recipe that has been a long-standing household favourite, its’ hard to hear anything but praise. I know not everyone will like everything I prepare, and I am working on accepting that, but in the meantime, it’s still a little upsetting.
I guess those are my demons to deal with. When it comes to Chinese Buffet Style Lemon Chicken though, I can positively say that you will love this. And your family will love it. Your friends will love it. Everyone will love it! If they don’t you just send them to me, Dear Reader, and I’ll deal with them. 🙂
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Chinese Buffet Style Lemon Chicken
For the Chicken:
- 4 large chicken breasts, cut into thin pieces and strips
- 1 cup corn starch
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons corn starch, heaping tablespoons
- 8 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Whisk together the eggs, water, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss well to coat every single piece. Cover the bowl and let the chicken sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce and set the oil for frying.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, water, and corn starch until completely incorporated and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Next, prepare to fry the chicken by using a wide skillet with high sides. Pour enough vegetable oil in the skillet so that the oil is about 4 inches deep. Bring the oil to 350 degrees.
- When the oil is ready, use tongs to gently place one piece of chicken at a time in the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken in a single layer - about 12-15 pieces at a time. Fry them for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate while you fry the next batch.
- When all of the chicken has been fried, carefully remove the hot oil from the skillet and wipe the excess oil out.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet, and over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil, whisking often. Once the sauce has thickened, add the fried chicken back to the skillet and toss well to coat. Cook for 2-3 more minutes before serving.
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