How To Make Lemon Chicken Even Easier

How To Make Lemon Chicken Even Easier

Nathan Hawkes Nathan Hawkes Feb 05, 2024

This is so easy, it’s cheating.

I love lemon chicken. The chicken is easy; the sauce is where the work is.

What follows is a really good authentic lemon chicken recipe. But the sauce includes ten ingredients.

If you use our lemon sauce mix, you’ll save 20 minutes or more-and simplify your dinner. The mix calls for water and butter. Add water and butter and cook it for a few minutes. Cook the chicken per the directions and add the sauce. You’ll have “take out” quality lemon chicken.

There are two differences between this and the scratch recipe below: the chicken broth and the garlic. But you can add those if you wish. Mix up a little chicken broth-I use those little cubes of dried broth-and add a little garlic powder. Now you’re just like the authentic recipe-and you still simplified your dinner.

Oh, and one more hack–grab one of those 90-second packages of microwave rice and a salad. Now dinner is done.

Get the lemon sauce mix!

Make perfect rice easier with a Microwave Rice Cooker!

Authentic Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe

For the Chicken

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the Lemon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


    1. Make an egg wash by slightly beating two eggs with one tablespoon of water. In a separate flat-bottomed dish, place the two cups of panko.
    2. With a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick. Dip each chicken breast in egg then panko, and again in egg then panko. This double-dipping process is crucial to create an extra-crispy crust for each chicken piece that will not rub off.
    3. Fry each chicken piece in 350° vegetable oil until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Place the fried chicken pieces onto a plate with a paper towel allowing the excess oil to drain and set aside.
    4. In a wok, on medium heat, heat 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon lemon
    5. zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, one garlic clove, and one or two drops yellow food coloring (if desired). In a separate small bowl, combine one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon water to make the slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce and continue to heat and stir until sauce is thickened.
    6. Place the fried chicken on a plate and cut into strips. Pour the sauce over the top and serve warm.

      Other Lemon Chicken Recipe

      Lemon Chicken

      Whether you're in the mood for something roasted, grilled, or pan-seared, these 3 other lemon chicken recipes will delight your palate and infuse your kitchen with the aromatic blend of lemon, garlic, and herbs.

      1. Oven-Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs with Green Beans


      • 8 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on for maximum flavor)
      • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
      • Zest of 1 lemon
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
      • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
      • 1 lemon, sliced for garnish

        Chicken Marinade:

        In a bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, kosher salt, and black pepper. Pour this chicken marinade over the chicken thighs, ensuring they are well-coated. Let the chicken rest in the marinade for at least 30 minutes (or overnight in the fridge for deeper flavor).

        Cooking Instructions:

        1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Arrange the marinated chicken thighs and green beans in a large baking dish. Drizzle the green beans with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
        2. Roast in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through. The green beans should be tender yet crisp.
        3. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices before serving. Enjoy the rich flavors of lemon garlic chicken thighs paired with the simplicity of roasted green beans.

          2. Grilled Lemon Butter Chicken Breasts


          • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
          • 2 tablespoons olive oil
          • 1/4 cup lemon juice
          • 3 cloves garlic, minced
          • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
          • Lemon butter sauce: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
          • Extra lemon slices and parsley for garnish

          Chicken Marinade:

          Create a lemon juice garlic marinade by mixing olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Marinate the boneless skinless chicken breasts for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

            Cooking Instructions:

            1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken breasts for 6-8 minutes per side, or until fully cooked and with beautiful grill marks.
            2. For the lemon butter sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Stir in lemon juice and parsley, then remove from heat.
            3. Once the chicken is done, let it rest for a few minutes, then drizzle with the warm lemon butter sauce. Garnish with additional lemon slices and parsley.
            4. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables for a complete meal, delighting in the zesty and buttery flavors that perfectly complement the grilled chicken.

              3. Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic Chicken with Olive Oil and Fresh Parsley


              • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
              • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
              • 3 cloves garlic, minced
              • 1/4 cup lemon juice
              • Zest of 1 lemon
              • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
              • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
              • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
              • Additional lemon slices for serving

                Chicken Marinade:

                In a mixing bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, kosher salt, and black pepper. Marinate the chicken breasts for at least 30 minutes to infuse them with the lemon garlic flavor.

                  Cooking Instructions:

                  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the marinated chicken breasts. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
                  2. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the fresh parsley to the skillet to wilt slightly and infuse the chicken with its fresh, herbaceous flavor.
                  3. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after cooking to retain its juices. Serve the chicken drizzled with the pan juices and garnished with lemon slices.
                  4. This dish pairs wonderfully with a light salad or steamed vegetables, creating a healthy and flavorful meal that showcases the best of lemon garlic chicken with minimal saturated fat.

                    Each of these recipes highlights the versatility of lemon chicken, whether you prefer the juicy richness of chicken thighs, the lightness of boneless skinless chicken breasts, or the ease of a grilled dish. Enjoy cooking these culinary creations that promise to deliver not only on taste but also on healthful benefits.

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