Paula’s Lemon Chicken

I first tried this recipe at a Chinese cookery class run by a lady called Paula. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again at home a few days later. I’ve used half the amount of chicken but the same amount of everything else both times.

Lemon chicken

1kg (approx) of lean skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
6 dried chinese style mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms
15g (approx) lard
root ginger, freshly peeled and chopped finely or grated (to taste)
1 red pepper, cored, de-seeded and sliced thinly
grated rind of 2 non-waxed lemons
5 spring onions, topped and tailed, peeled and sliced thinly (sliced diagonally)
4 TBS Chinese wine or dry sherry
1.5 tspn caster sugar
2 TBS light soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 TBS water
1-2 TBS lemon juice
sunflower oilMETHOD

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 15-20 minutes or wipe and slice fresh mushrooms.
  2. Mix the wine or sherry with the soy sauce and caster sugar.
  3. Line up all your prepared ingredients in a row next to your wok or stir-fry pan – chicken; lard; ginger/pepper/mushrooms; lemon rind & spring onions; sherry/soy/sugar mix; cornflour/water mix; lemon juice.
  4. Heat some sunflower oil in the wok and stir-fry the chicken cubes for 2-3 minutes until cooked but not too coloured. Remove from pan and put to one side.
  5. Wipe the pan with kitchen roll then melt the lard in the cleaned pan.
  6. Tip in the ginger/pepper/mushrooms and stir-fry for one minute.
  7. Add the lemon rind and spring onions and stir0fry for a further minute.
  8. Add the sherry/soy/sugar mixture and stir-fry for another minute.
  9. Add the cornflour mixture, giving it a quick stir before tipping it in as it will have ‘settled’. Stir in for a further minute
  10. Tip the chicken back in and heat through.

If you are serving immediately add the lemon juice now and remove from the heat straight away. If the food is going to be reheated and eaten later don’t add the lemon juice until just ready to serve as it will make the dish sour if left in too long.

Nice with plain boiled Basmati rice.

NOTES: Slicing the peppers and onions diagonally not only looks ‘prettier’ but gives a greater surface to cook so it cooks more quickly.

Do use lard if you can as it makes a difference to the taste and to the feel of the food in the mouth.

Nutritional info for half of this dish (if using 500g to make it all)
334 kcals; 17.2g carbs; 34g protein; 10.8g fat; 2.7g fibre; 2 portions of fruit & veg


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