Nickel Free Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

This is one of my favorite nickel free recipes! I always loved eating lemon chicken when I used to eat at Chinese restaurants. There’s always something about the lemon sweet sauce that I enjoy. The recipe is fairly simple, but does take some time getting used to when it comes to balancing making the rice and any veggie sides you might want. It might be helpful to read through the recipe first before you start cooking. The dish makes 2-3 servings.
The Ingredients

–For Baking the Chicken–
1 cup egg whites
1/2 lb to 1 lb Chicken breasts (cut length wise into 2-4 pieces)
1 cup flour
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon red pepper seeds.
1/2 teaspoon salt

–For the Lemon Sauce–
1 lemon
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
3-4 tablespoons sugar (I like to use sugar in the raw, but white sugar is great too)
2 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

The Recipe & Cooking Steps
I usually purchase a large half pound chicken breast and slice it in half (long ways) so that the chicken will cook through and to save costs. If you really like baked breaded chicken, you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces and increase the amount of egg whites and flour.
First you cut up the chicken and place it in a bowl with the egg whites. Let the chicken soak in the egg whites for about 10 minutes. If the bowl isn’t big enough, flip the chicken after 5 minutes so both sides are covered in the egg whites.

While the chicken is in the egg whites, place wax paper or a silicon baking mat (I want to purchase & try these) on a baking sheet. If using wax paper, spray the paper with olive oil cooking spray. At this point, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Next grab a large Ziploc bag. Place the flour, red pepper seeds and a little salt in the bag and mix everything together. Next add each piece of chicken individually in the bag and shake the chicken so that the flour mixture coats the entire piece of chicken. Once the piece of chicken is coated, place it on the wax paper or baking mat. Repeat this step for the remainder of your chicken and discard the Ziplock bag when you’re finished.

When all of the chicken is on the baking sheet lightly spray the top of the chicken with olive oil. Place the chicken in the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the flour is golden brown.

Sometimes, after 20-25 minutes, I will take the chicken out and cut it open to ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

To reduce the number of dishes I have to wash, I combine the lemon sauce ingredients in the cold saucepan.
To reduce the number of dishes I have to wash, I combine the lemon sauce ingredients in the cold saucepan.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the lemon sauce! Get out a medium sized sauce pan and place it on the stove. You’ll be placing the lemon sauce ingredients directly in the saucepan. However, don’t turn the stove on until you finish adding the first 4 ingredients for the lemon sauce and the chicken is completely baked or has about 5 minutes left.
First I wash the outside of the lemon. Then grate / zest the lemon and place the zest directly into the saucepan. Once it’s zested, juice the lemon. Again you can place the lemon juice directly into the saucepan. Next add the chicken broth and sugar and mix all the ingredients in the cold saucepan.
For the last two lemon sauce ingredients, you mix the 2 teaspoons cold water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in that order in a very small bowl, or I’ll use the dirty 1/2 cup you used for the chicken broth. Place this close to your saucepan, but not in it yet. This is the to thicken the lemon sauce, once it’s heated.

Once I have the cold lemon sauce ingredients in the saucepan and the water/cornstarch mixed separately, I’ll usually make or begin making jasmine rice, so it’s ready when the chicken and lemon sauce are done. I also like to steam carrots or asparagus as a side.

This is what the lemon sauce should look like before you add the water/cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
This is what the lemon sauce should look like before you add the water/cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

When you take out the chicken or have about 5 minutes left on the chicken I turn the stove on medium to medium high (between 5-7) to begin heating the lemon sauce. The lemon sauce will heat very quickly and you’ll want to constantly stir it as it heats. It should begin to boil after about 5 minutes, if it doesn’t you might want to increase the heat a little. Once the lemon sauce begins to boil, you’ll add the water/cornstarch mixture to thicken the lemon sauce.
Hopefully by this time your rice is cooked and served on a dinner plate. Then I place the chicken on top of the rice. Lastly, you drip the thicken lemon sauce on top of the chicken and rice and perhaps even your vegi side if you want.
Then eat and enjoy this nickel free dinner meal! You’ll probably want to soak the saucepan used for the lemon sauce, as it will be very sticky!

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