Lemon Chicken is my go-to order whenever we go out for Chinese food. My favorite is from a little, hole in the wall in downtown San Diego. I love the lightly crisped, juicy chicken chunks bathed in the sticky sweet and tart sauce. I’ve been tempted to try to copy the dish at home and was inspired by Torani Lemon Syrup, which I have on hand for iced tea.
I love experimenting in the kitchen and I love Torani syrups, the lemon syrup is just the right balance of sweet and tart, I added some fresh lemon juice and zest for brightness and balance and with just a few extra ingredients I already had on hand I came up with a winner, every bit as good as the Lemon Chicken I order at that San Diego Chinese food joint.
It’s super simple and so delicious, using an unexpected ingredient – Torani Lemon Syrup! Who knew how versatile these syrups can be?!
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 cup Torani Lemon Syrup
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tsp. corn starch
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 cup of cooking oil for frying (I prefer coconut oil)
- Sliced scallions and/or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Generously season chicken chunks with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken and 1/2 cup cornstarch into a large bowl or gallon sized ziplock bag and toss to even coat each piece. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken chunks and fry until cooked through and crispy brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches as to not overcrowd pan. Once chicken is cooked lay out on paper-towel lined plate. Season again with a sprinkle of salt.
- Discard excess oil from the pan, and add the Torani Syrup. Allow to come to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and allow to reduce for 5 minutes.
- Mix the lemon juice with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and add to the pan of Torani syrup, whisk to thoroughly combine. Allow to simmer and add lemon zest.
- When the sauce has thickened add the cooked chicken chunks and toss to coat.
- Garnish with scallions and/or sesame seeds and serve.
Tip: Serve with steamed white rice or atop a bed of bok choy cabbage and greens.