Monday, December 8, 2008

Honey Lemon Chicken - Improving HK Coffee Shop's Classic

I love Hong Kong Coffee Shop's style of lemon chicken (Sai Ling Gai). I know, it's unhealthy (nothing I love is healthy). The batter is greasy and the chicken skin's crispy from deep frying, the sauce is super corn starchy, sticky, sweet and tangy, sometimes even bitter from lemon overload....but eaten with a steamy bowl of white rice...gosh! It's a lil' piece of heaven.

Damn! I couldn't get it off my head! I spent all my weekend thinking...
in the shower...
- Gosh, I need to clean the shower room floor, before it changes from white to yellow...I want lemon chicken.
out shopping...
- I need another turtle neck tee to wear under my jacket. Maybe yellow?...I want lemon chicken.
washing dishes...
- Boy, this cleaning liquid is pretty powerful, it wipes away grease and it has a great citrusy lemony scent...I want lemon chicken.
gazing into sous chef's eyes...
- SC, I love....lemon chicken.

That's it! Enough already! I need to do something about it, and my version of lemon chicken needs to fit sous chef's low iodine diet, and it needs to be better than coffee shop's version (wow....isn't that a tad too ambitious?)

Honey Lemon Chicken

To improve:
- I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken leg fillet with skin
- I lightly dust them with a bit of corn starch and pan fried them instead of deep frying them with batter
- My sweet, sticky and tangy lemon sauce is a reduction of all natural lemon juice, honey and other goodies, instead of the normal super corn starchy one

The chicken

- 1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast
Whack 'em flat to tenderize, marinate in a pinch of salt, black pepper, sugar, olive oil and 1 tbsp corn starch for minimum of 30 minutes. Pan fry just to get a bit of brownage in a bit of hot olive oil. Chicken does not need to be pan fried too long, or the meat will be dry.
The sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cm ginger, crushed
- honey
- juice of 1 lemon, a bit of grated lemon zest
- salt, sugar, white pepper, olive oil, a bit of hot water
Saute garlic, onion and ginger in hot oil until fragrant, add few squirts of honey, add lemon juice and grated lemon zest, season with salt, sugar and white pepper, add hot water, cook until reduced and sticky, pour over chicken, serve.

Never thought this healthier version would taste better, but it did.

Check out other bloggers' posts on Chinese food take away classics at my Chinese Take Out Party Roundup

Now, where were we, SC? Sorry about earlier. Ok...again, (gazing into eyes)...I love...........KFC. Opps!


Anonymous said...

Rita dear...tulisan mu selalu enak di baca...dan penampakan honey lemon chickennya booww...endang gulindang apalagi aku pencinta lemon...btw, ini id ymku ya : elsyesuranto

Anonymous said...

Hee hee you are hilarious ^^! And your lemon chicken looks amazinnggg :D yummmmmm indeeed.. now that would make me think about it everywhere hee hee.

Hmm I would prefer the juicy juicy chicken thigh to breast though and skiinn! :P

Heather said...

yum! i think that looks great. the lemon sauce sounds lovely. i tend to prefer boneless, skinless too. i don't know what's wrong with me, but i've never been a skin person. anyway, this is on my list to make. so yummy!!

Peter M said...

Rita, you've made my day...I could eat this right now (10am)!

taste memory said...

I luv cooking with lemons!

agree ~ you are hilarious + just make me smile ;-)

btw; tried the purple yams you blogged about......made tempura with and also in a veggie soup! so yummmm

dewi ayin said...

so.... is it really better than the sinful coffee shop's lemon chicken???

dewi ayin said...

i dun think sooooo.... no doubt on your cooking skill... but without the crispy skin.... aaarrrrggghhhh

Little Corner of Mine said...

Beautiful pictures and the chicken looks delicious! Oh yeah, I love KFC too.

Jescel said...

You're too funny... but lemon chicken is the bomb! and yea, everything fried is good! :o)

Jagungmanis said...

KFC? hahaha ekke jg doyan bgt.. nek gratis..wkwkwkwk

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Love the recipe, that is a great combo. I've got some chicken in the freezer to use and this is perfect, thanks Rita!

daphne said...

hahaa. I would like that-healthy lemon chicken! Certainly looks delicious esp with the hint of honey there! I would even sprinkle some sesame seeds!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Once in a blue moon, I'll crave lemon chicken too. . .You've just reminded me that it's been too long since I've had them. Now I'm going to see lemon chicken everywhere as well!

Unknown said...

That chicken looks really good!

rokh said...

while reading this post....i want lemon chicken too! :P