Because of this (the frustration, not the okra) I rarely make this dish, even though it is delicious. But since I'm doing a week of lemons, this seemed an appropriate addition. I love the tangy sauce and, when fried correctly, the outside of the chicken is crisp and the inside is moist and tender. It's wonderful served with rice and a side dish of crisp broccoli for color and texture complement. Oh, and health. Can you tell that vegetables are usually an afterthought at my house?
Lemon Chicken, Hunan Style - serves 6
(The picture doesn't show a how much a full recipe makes. I didn't think it would be photogenic having it all heaped up.)
4- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (depending on the size of the chicken breasts. More for small breasts, fewer for larger breasts)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp baking soda
Lemon Sauce (below)
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
Heat oil (1 to 1-1/2 inches) to 360 degrees in a fry pan. Beat remaining ingredients except Lemon Sauce and lemon slices with hand beater until smooth. Dip chicken pieces one at a time into batter. Fry 2 pieces at a time into batter. Fry 2 pieces at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 7 minutes. Trying to fry too many pieces at once will lower the oil temp and will result in greasy, undercooked chicken. Euww. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Cut chicken crosswise into 1/2 inch slices; arrange in single layer on heated platter. Keep warm. Prepare Lemon Sauce; pour over chicken. Garnish with lemon slices.
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp catsup
1/2 tsp instant chicken bouillon (1/2 a cube)
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
Heat 1/2 cup water, the lemon peel, lemon juice, honey, catsup, bouillon, salt and garlic to boiling. Mix cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water; stir into sauce. Cook and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds.
Tip: If you're having company over and don't want to greet them covered with grease, do the frying up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate the chicken. To reheat, place the chicken on an ungreased cookie sheet in 400 degree oven until hot, 10 to 12 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.