Friday, December 31, 2010

Terrific and Tangy Lemon Chicken

Who here misses Chinese food? I know I do! With the soy sauce and cornstarch laden dishes, it's near impossible for me to get in some good Chinese bites nowadays. Thankfully I am learning to master some of their dishes at home :)

This delightful dish is a little twist on the classic orange chicken. Not only is it delish, but it's very easy, inexpensive AND gluten free!

For the tangy tasty sauce (boy, I think I have read my daughter too many Dr. Suess books, I am on an adjective rampage lol!). Peel and remove the white pith on 1 1/2 lemons.Then slice them into disks like so:

Next bring 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger to a boil. Add the lemon slices and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat then pour into a siv and press the lemons to remove excess liquid.
Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and add 1 cup sugar. Raise temperature on the burner to medium/high and bring to a boil. While waiting for the liquid to boil, dissolve 1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch (or corn starch) in 1 Tablespoon cold water. Once liquid boils, stir in corn starch slurry stirring well. Once mixture begins to thicken remove from heat and set aside.

For the chicken, start out with about 15oz chicken breast meat. I like chicken tenderloins as I buy a huge bag at Costco then can take out just what I need. Plus they are already cut into nice handy strips. Now, for the batter, mix 1 tablespoon brown or white rice flour and 1 tablespoon tapioca starch in a bowl. Stir in 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon cooking sherry (or rice wine found at your local Asian store) and 1/2 teaspoon Tamari gluten free soy sauce. Give it a good whisking to incorporate all ingredients. 

Next, measure out 3/4 cups Water Chestnut Flour. This was only $1.39 at my Asian shop and this is what will give your chicken amazing crunchy crispiness (once again....having fun with the adjectives)
This is not your typical flour, it's crunchy, clumpy, and bumpy :) You can use a fork to crunch up some of the bigger chunks if you wish. Me, the more texture the better.

Now warm up about 2 cups of oil in a wok or large pot. Once it is hot enough (starts popping when you place a drop or two of water) dip your chicken once in the batter mix then roll in the Water Chestnut Flour. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side of the chicken. 

Now, the gluten free flour mixture is not going to get as golden as your "glutified" chicken, but it will still get a bit of color. 

Drizzle a bit of the sauce over your chicken and serve with a side of rice and your favorite steamed veggie.
Can you SEE the amazing texture the Water Chestnut Flour adds? I'm tellin ya, go get some and just keep on hand. It's worth it and you'd never know this chicken is gluten free :)


Lemon Chicken 
1 1/2 lemons, peeled, white pith removed and sliced
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

Bring water to a boil and add lemons and ginger. Boil for 4 minutes then strain. Pour liquid back into sauce pan and bring back to a boil on medium heat stirring in the sugar. Meanwhile make a slurry out of the cold water and starch. Stir into boiling mixture and remove from heat when sauce begins to thicken.

15oz chicken breast cut into strips
1 tablespoon brown rice or white rice flour
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon dry cooking sherry
1/2 teaspoon Tamari gluten free soy sauce
1 large egg
3/4 cup water chestnut flour
2 cups oil

Mix rice flour, starch, sherry, Tamari sauce, and egg together for the batter. Place Water Chestnut Flour in a medium size bowl. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large wok or pot. Dip the chicken in the batter then roll in the water chestnut flour and place in the hot oil. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side or until it turns a light golden brown. Place on a paper towel lined plate and pat down with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

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