Here’s a great Chinese recipe that surpasses any takeout meal. Using a wok effectively with controlled high heat takes a bit of practice – but the results are fantastic. Take care not to stir the chicken too much when frying, or the batter will flake off.
2 lbs. boneless-skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)
For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
For the Batter:
2 large eggs
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch white pepper
1 quart vegetable oil (for deep frying)
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbs. cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt
3 slices of lemon (rind and seeds removed)
2 tbs. peanut oil
Place the cut chicken breast pieces into a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
To make the batter – beat 2 large eggs with ¼ cup of cornstarch, a pinch of white pepper and baking powder. Thoroughly coat the chicken with the batter.
Heat a deep fryer or wok to 350 degrees with one quart of vegetable oil. Deep-fry the chicken in batches until fully cooked and golden brown. Caution: Adding cold food to hot oil will cause the oil to splatter! Let the chicken warm up before adding to the deep fryer or wok. Drain the chicken on paper towels in a covered baking dish to keep it hot.
Prepare the lemon sauce – combine 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined and add 3 slices of lemon to the sauce mixture.
Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in your wok until it ripples and add the chicken back into the wok. Stir-fry until just crisp and heated through. Stir in the lemon sauce mixture. Mix well until the sauce becomes clear and reduced, about one to two minutes. Remove immediately.
Serve with steamed white rice and broccoli.
Note: for a thicker, crispier coating, dip the chicken pieces in corn starch or flour after removing from the marinade. Then dip in beaten egg. Coat the pieces in corn starch or flour again. Then coat in the batter and fry as instructed.