Chinese-inspired Lemon Orange Chicken
Chunks of chicken fillets lightly coated in starch, deep fried then tossed in a sticky sauce made with lemon juice, orange juice and sugar. Chinese-style lemon orange chicken is so good you'll be asking for seconds!
- 500 grams chicken thigh fillets skin on
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ¾ cup white sugar
- cooking oil
- ¼ cup corn starch
- Wipe the chicken thigh fillets and cut into chunks. Toss with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and all of the pepper. Marinate in the fridge for eight hours or overnight.
- Place lemon juice, orange juice, zests, ½ teaspoon salt and all of the sugar in a sauce pan. Boil, uncovered, for ten minutes or until reduced by half and syrupy. Set aside to cool.
- In a pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Place the chicken in a resealable bag, add the starch, seal and shake to coat each piece lightly.
- Over medium heat, fry the chicken in batches until lightly browned, about four minutes per batch.
- Turn up the heat to high, refry the chicken for one to two minutes until golden and crisp.
- Place the chicken a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the cooled sauce and toss to coat each piece well.
- Serve the lemon orange chicken immediately.
There’s lemon chicken and there’s orange chicken. Both are found in the menu of many Chinese restaurants but, curiously, neither is a traditional Chinese dish. Lemon chicken was the specialty of the former Pearl’s Chinese Restaurant at 148 West 48th Street in New York City and a creation of a chef named Lee Lum. Orange chicken is American too. Developed by a chef named Andy Kho in 1987, it is reputedly inspired by the flavors of the Hunan Province in China. We love both lemon chicken and orange chicken at home, so I decided to combine the two in one delicious dish. Updated from a recipe originally published in January 4, 2020