Easy lemon chicken

Recreate a classic British Chinese takeaway dish for the home kitchen, with crispy fried chicken breast served with a fresh, tangy and moreish lemon sauce

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:25 mins
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 493
  • fat 5g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 55g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 55g
  • salt 1.9g


  • 2 chicken breasts (around 400g each)
  • ½ tbsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 950ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g cornflour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt or 1⁄2 tsp each of salt and garlic powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp Chinese red pepper powder
  • 2 lemons, juiced (around 100ml)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Slice the chicken breasts horizontally into two thin halves, then sprinkle over the cornflour, ½ tsp salt, the white pepper and ½ tbsp water, then leave to marinate for 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, make the batter. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then set aside. In a second bowl, combine the plain flour, cornflour, garlic salt, garlic powder, bicarbonate of soda and red pepper powder, then tip half of the mixture into another bowl. Set one aside. Stir the whisked eggs into one bowl of the flour mixture with 3-5 tbsp cold water, adding 1 tbsp at a time. Mix well until it’s the consistency of double cream.

  3. Coat one chicken breast in the batter until evenly covered, then coat in the flour mixture. Rub in the flour using your hands to ensure it’s completely coated. Repeat until all four halves of the chicken breasts have been coated.

  4. Pour the vegetable oil into a medium saucepan (it should be no more than a third full) and heat over a medium-high heat until the oil reaches 160C or forms bubbles around a chopstick. Reduce the heat to medium and slowly lower the chicken breasts into the oil, in batches if your saucepan isn’t big enough to do them all at once, then fry for 5 mins, turning over halfway, until pale golden.

  5. Let the chicken rest for 5 mins and heat the oil on high to 200C, then fry the chicken again for 30 seconds until it forms a deep golden crispy coating. Set aside to cool before cutting into even slices.

  6. To make the sauce, combine the lemon juice, sugar and honey in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cornflour with 1½ tsp water. Put a pan on a medium heat, tip in the lemon mixture and, once it starts to bubble, slowly add the cornflour mixture until it reaches your desired sauce consistency. Remove from the heat and serve drizzled over the chicken, or as a dipping sauce.

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