Baked Chinese Lemon Chicken is a crispy, healthier Chinese take-out favorite, coated in crispy panko with fresh lemon sauce.
Baked Chinese Lemon Chicken
This Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe is quick and easy to make. In fact, it’ll take you less time to make it than having to wait for delivery. You can break it down into three steps: Making the lemon sauce, breading and baking the chicken, and then tossing it all together to serve. The flavor combination from the crispy golden brown chicken tossed with that sweet and tangy lemon sauce. It’s lighter in taste than orange chicken but both are so good, it’s hard to choose a favorite.
This recipe is healthier because the recipe calls for baking the chicken instead of frying. A little trick I use to get the chicken crispy without frying is to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before placing it into the oven.
You’ll be amazed by the results. I’m also using boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs to help keep the calories and fat content down while still maintaining all that flavor. Don’t forget about the healthy dose of vitamin c you’ll be getting from the lemon juice in the sauce ingredients. Overall, this is a great alternative to this Chinese takeout classic dish.
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VARIATIONS ON BAKED CHINESE LEMON CHICKEN
- Vegetarian: Replace the chicken with cauliflower to turn this into a vegetarian dish.
- Gluten-Free: Make sure to use gluten-free flour and panko breadcrumbs in this recipe.
- Honey: Add 3 tablespoons of honey to the sauce for a honey lemon chicken.
WHAT GOES WITH BAKED CHINESE LEMON CHICKEN
- Skinny Chinese Green Beans: Whether you’re making these in a wok or in a steaming pot, these green beans are the perfect side dish to add to your plate.
- Carrot Rice: I love this mix of fresh ginger, onions, and grated carrots in basmati rice. It’s similar to fried rice but so much healthier.
- Skinny Teriyaki Shrimp: Made with a homemade teriyaki sauce, this shrimp dish gives your family another Chinese food option for the main course. Everyone gets to have a little bit of everything and you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day.
MORE CHINESE MAIN DISHES
- Skinny Teriyaki Chicken
- Chinese Black Bean Chicken
- Chinese Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Skinny Chinese Orange Shrimp
- Skinny Moo Shu Pork
Chicken is safe to eat once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (73.9 degrees C), according to the USDA’s website. No matter how cooked the chicken looks, you should always test the thickest part with a probe thermometer to make sure it is completely done.
HOW TO STORE BAKED CHINESE LEMON CHICKEN
- Serve: Once this has been taken out of the oven to serve, don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Make sure your leftovers are wrapped in an airtight container and they should last up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Freeze: I wouldn’t recommend freezing this. Reheating frozen breading never turns out right, so you should definitely enjoy it fresh.
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 4 chicken breasts , boneless skinless
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Add the lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat, cooking until thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1” chunks.
- Place the flour into a shallow bowl.
- Mix the breadcrumbs, onion powder and garlic powder together in a shallow bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Coat the chicken with the flour, then dredge in the egg mixture, then into the panko mixture and add to a large baking sheet.
- Spray with vegetable oil spray for 2 seconds.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- While still hot, toss with the lemon sauce and lemon zest.