Easy healthy Sticky Chinese Lemon Chicken with a sticky lemon honey and garlic sauce is a tasty, better than takeout 30 minute meal!
Last weekend we met up with my in-laws for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in the town where my husband I grew up. This restaurant is pretty good. But people go NUTS for this place. I kind of think it’s because there’s only two main Chinese restaurants in the area and the other one ( where I happened to work all through high school) is right next to the freeway and a little bit farther out of the way than this place.
Like I said, it’s pretty good, they have some decent dishes and their honey walnut shrimp is darn tasty, but my husband has a co-worker who flies his clients in from out of state to have dinner at this place and I swear to you it really is good, but it’s not that good. And when it comes to takeout, I’d much rather whip up something at home than buy a plane ticket to fly two states away to get myself a bowl of walnut shrimp or general tsao’s.
This sticky Chinese lemon chicken is easily as good as any restaurant version and you can make it happen in just 30 minutes in the comfort of your slippers in your very own kitchen – no crazy ingredients or special tools needed, and definitely no plane ticket needed. The sauce is sweet and tangy and sticky lemon garlic heaven.
I’ve come to really love using chicken tenderloins for my Asian takeout dishes, but chicken breasts also work! To get the right crispy outside to juicy inside ratio, just be sure to cut your chicken into 1 inch pieces or even a little bit smaller. Too big and it takes too long to cook through and the breading will get overcooked. Other than that, this recipe is foolproof! You’re gonna love this easy better-than-takeout dish!
- 1-2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup white cooking wine or chicken broth
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- ½ cup vegetable oil or canola oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 tablespoons cold chicken broth or water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
- thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds, for garnish
- cooked white, brown, or ham fried rice for serving
- Chop chicken into 1 inch pieces. Whisk together eggs, soy suace, and cooking wine or broth. Add chicken and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. (see note)
- Transfer chicken pieces to a large ziplock bag and discard marinade. Add corn starch to bag, seal, and shake to coat chicken completely in the corn starch.
- Add oil to a large pan or skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Transfer chicken to pan, trying to arrange pieces so they aren't piled on top of each other. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces and cook another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a paper-towel lined plate. Discard any excess oil in the pan and use a paper towel to wipe it out.
- Add broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, honey, and salt to pan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl whisk together broth (or water) and corn starch until dissolved. Add to boiling sauce, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir until thickened.
- Transfer chicken to pan and stir 2-3 minutes until hot throughout. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions and serve over cooked rice.