Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Chinese lemon chicken

We feasted on this chicken a couple of weeks ago as a part of our Chinese New Year celebrations. No, we don't have an ounce of Chinese blood in our veins, but hey, any excuse to celebrate is good in our books! And anyway - that won't stop the whole world going Irish next week for St. Patrick's, does it...?

Sure, in case you follow all the steps with marinating the chicken first and then breading it and then frying it, it will take some time. So, if you must, skip the marinating part, but do give this recipe a go. I've never tried heroin, but in case it's anywhere as addictive as this lemon sauce, it's probably best I steer clear of it in the future, too. 

For maximum crunchiness, use panko bread crumbs. For a gluten-free feast, use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour and substitute panko with gluten-free beard crumbs. In case you're calorie-conscious, use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

Serves four

Chinese lemon chicken

4 chicken breasts

Marinade for the chicken:

o,5 dl soy sauce
5 cm piece of ginger, minced
1 tsp ground white pepper 
3 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Pat the chicken fillets dry and slice (if you want). Pour over the marinade and let marinate in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.

For breading:

about 3 dl rice flour or all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 pckg panko breadcrumbs/ regular (or glutenfree) breadcrumbs 

For frying: about 1/2 l oil and a heavy-based pot

Lightly whisk the eggs. Spread the flour on one shallow dish and panko on another.

Drain the marinated chicken and pat dry. Toss in flour, then in eggs and then coat with bread crumbs.

Fry in hot oil for a couple of minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels and serve with rice, lemon sauce and stir-fry veggies.

Lemon sauce:

0,5 l (low-sodium) chicken stock
1,5 dl lemon juice
the zest of 1-2 lemons (depending on how lemony you like yours)
1-1,25 dl sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
pinch of turmeric (or a couple of drops of lemon food colourant)
4 tbsp corn starch
4 tbsp cold water

Mix corn starch with cold water. Bring chicken stock to boil and add rest of the ingredients (apart from the corn starch-mixture). Check the taste and adjust the lemoniness/ sweetness to your liking. Then add corn starch whisking as you do and continue cooking for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened. Serve hot over the chicken or as a cold dipping sauce (in which case keep it covered to stop the skin from forming).

Stir-fry veggies:

2 large cloves of garlic
1 small red chilli
2 cm piece ginger
for frying: a couple of tbsp oil

1 large carrot
300 g head of broccoli
1 red pepper
1 red onion
200 g mini corn
soy sauce

to serve: 
handful of toasted cashew nuts
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
handful of spring onion stalks chopped

Cut the veggies into matchsticks and cut the broccoli into florets (cutting the larger ones into 2 or 3).

Mince chilli, garlic and ginger. Heat oil in a large wok (if using a regular frying pan, fry the veggies in 2 batches to keep them crunchy). Add the veggies into the wok. First carrot, a minute later broccoli, then red pepper and finally red onion and mini corn. Cook over high heat until everything's piping hot.

Season with soy sauce, fold in coriander leaves, spring onion and cashew nuts and serve.

And since we went Asian, we also went all Alsatian and turned to our old favourite, Wolfberger for a wine pairing. And weren't disappointed this time either

This wine pairs two of the most typical Alsatian grape varieties: Riesling and Pinot Gris in a way that really brings together best of the both worlds. It combines the ripe fruitiness of Riesling with the mineral acidity of Pinot Gris and produces a wine that's perfect for a variety of Asian dishes using chicken, fish or shellfish. 




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