A good friend in the food industry left me thinking when he described lemon chicken as being “very nice, but it doesn’t taste of lemon”. The irony of the statement was not lost on me. So I set about getting some lemon chicken cooked. This time though, it tastes of lemon, for sure. It tastes of chicken too. So, lemon chicken it is.
As with so many of my recipes, this depends upon top quality meat and a small number of quality ingredients. The ingredient that might prevent some of you trying this is highly concentrated chicken stock. My advice is to make your own and store it in the freezer. Having concentrated stocks makes huge sense. They take up very little freezer space. They last for ages in the frozen state. They help bring ordinary food to gourmet levels. You can not fake good stock. I have beef, pork, lamb, prawn and chicken stock cubes in the freezer. They are essential to good cooking. So, stock up, as it were.
Ingredients for Lemon Chicken for two
- 2 high quality, skin on, free range, chicken breasts
- 1 juicy lemon
- A few cubes of concentrated chicken stock
- 1 glass of good quality white wine (something that will stand up to lemon taste)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 knob of butter
Heat the oven to 190ºC. Heat a cast iron pan on the stove top. Add a very little bit of oil. Season the chicken on both sides.
Fry it, skin side up until browned. Turn the chicken and repeat the process. Turn the chicken again. Turn off the heat. Slice the lemon into quarters squeeze the juice over the chicken. Add the wine lemon quarters and stock cubes to the frying pan.
Place it in the oven and leave it until the chicken has reached about 70ºC internal temperature. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the chicken. Keep it warm.
Return the pan to the stove and reduce the sauce to a nice consistency. Add the knob of butter and stir. This will add a lustre and depth of flavour to the sauce.
Taste it and adjust the seasoning. Carve the chicken and serve it. Both the chicken and the sauce will taste of two things – chicken and lemon. That’s why it’s called Lemon Chicken.
If you serve it with the wine you used to make the sauce, the whole experience will be very harmonious, the wine adding an additional dimension to the dish. Do try this. It’s so easy that anybody with enough skill to stand in front of the cooker and breath will be able to turn out real lemony lemon chicken.