Lee Lum's Lemon Chicken

Recipe by Charmed

This recipe is from Craig Claibourne's New York Times Cookbook, and I think it's one of the best recipes I've ever tried. It looks beautiful, I love the flavors, and in my opinion, well worth the work. Don't leave out or substitute for the whole bottle of lemon extract added at the very last second; it's what makes the dish. If you cannot find water chestnut flour or powder, you can substitute cornstarch. However, the texture will not be as crispy or nutty.

Top Review by mickeydownunder

If there was only ONE Asian chicken for you to do, Would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recomend this one, TRUE! ok...bit fiddley at first for me, But NOW I KNOW what to do to make this recipe! Used sorghum flour (is chestnut flour in an Indian/spice place, but ALOT cheaper -- recommended by a fellow Zaarette :) ), and DEFINATELY peanut oil too! Drained on paper towels before placing in to warm in oven too! OK, cannot have pineapple or sugar, but is ONLY me! I used Splenda (same amount) and mandarin orange instead of pineapple, PLUS julienned baby carrots...GREAT to see! DEFINATELY greated extra lemon peel in sauce, To adjust the taste of course... OMG!! I cannot belive I did too! Have flour all over me to prove and the proof was I made a decorate plate...was DEVOURED by hubby and I in seconds so forgot to take a photo TRUE! THANKS! GREAT entertaining dish this would be, And I can now say I THOROUGHLY enjoyed making this recipe! THANKS!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish.
  2. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and gin or vodka, and pour over the chicken; toss to coat and let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200.
  4. Beat the egg whites, drain the chicken (discarding the marinade), and toss to coat.
  5. Pour the water-chestnut flour on a plate and dredge chicken completely in the flour.
  6. Arrange the shredded lettuce attractively on a platter.
  7. To cook the chicken, pour the peanut oil into a skillet (use an electric skillet if you have one) to a depth of 1/2 inch and heat to 350 degrees.
  8. Add the chicken in batches, browning one side, then turning to brown the other; drain and keep warm in the oven if necessary.
  9. Either while you're cooking the chicken or afterwards (while keeping the chicken warm), in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, rice vinegar, broth, the cornstarch dissolved in the 2 tablespoons water, the msg if desired, the lemon juice and the rind; bring to a boil and stir until thickened.
  10. Carefully and neatly slice the chicken crosswise into 1" slices, then using a large spatula, place attractively on top of the lettuce.
  11. Add the vegetables and pineapple to the sauce; remove from the heat, stir in extract, pour over the chicken, and serve immediately.

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