Lemon, honey and ginger chicken

By Adam Liaw
Serves  4
Print recipe

Not your nanna’s cold remedy. This Chinese-style chicken brings together three familiar flavours for a modern take on a Chinese restaurant classic.

Ingredients

  • 4 Lilydale free range chicken thighs (around 800 g)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1-2 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced on a steep diagonal
  • 1 rice paper sheet, to serve (optional)
  • lettuce leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Japanese mayonnaise, to serve (optional)

Sauce

  • juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small lemons)
  • 100 g honey
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cornflour

Batter

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. Trim some of the visible fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 3cm pieces. Combine with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, bicarbonate of soda, salt and 1 tsp of the cornflour and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl. In another bowl, combine the batter ingredients with ¾ cup of cold water and 5 ice cubes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 175C. Toss the chicken in the remaining cornstarch and transfer to the batter.
  4. Fry the chicken in batches one piece at a time for 3-4 minutes. Drain on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Heat the oil to 185C and fry the chicken again for about 1 minute until golden brown and crisp. If using, break the rice paper sheet into large pieces and fry for about 10 seconds until puffed and crisp.
  5. Place a wok over high heat. Stir the sauce ingredients and add to the wok. Bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Toss through the chicken and the spring onions. Transfer to a serving plate with the lettuce leaves and the rice paper crisps.