Easy Crispy Lemon Chicken

Crispy pieces of battered boneless chicken thighs pan-fried to golden perfection and finished with a zippy sweet, lemon glaze.

Day 1 of 6 days of Asian inspired takeout favorites

I was inspired to share with you guys my favorite Asian-inspired takeout favorites and crispy lemon chicken is certainly a fav. I love crispy chicken and pairing it with a citrusy sauce is always a winner. I switched up the presentation of the chicken by not chopping it up into bite-size pieces and instead of keeping the chicken thigh whole. I think it was a nice switch up but you can certainly chop it up into pieces for a more traditional presentation.

Crispy Lemon Chicken really is an easy dish to prepare at home. I know it’s easier to call your favorite Chinese restaurant to place an order but by the time you do that and wait for delivery, you can get in the kitchen and make this yourself from scratch! Do I have your attention now? Ok, good—let’s get started then.

Ingredients you’ll need for my easy crispy lemon chicken recipe:

Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Flour

Cornstarch

Egg

Salt + Pepper

Olive oil

Soy sauce

Lemon

Oil for frying (corn oil)

Water

For Lemon Glaze

Garlic

Ginger

Sesame oil

Lemon juice

Honey

Brown Sugar

Soy sauce

Cornstarch slurry

Water

How to make my easy crispy lemon chicken recipe from scratch:

  1. First you want to make the batter, which is a wet batter. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, egg, olive oil, water, salt, pepper, soy sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix with a whisk until the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are well incorporated. You want the mixture to be thick but not lumpy. If it’s too thin, like pancake mixture add more flour to make It thicker.
  2. Submerge chicken thigh into the batter and coat well on both sides.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan (the oil is hot enough when you put a wooden spoon in the oil and you see tiny bubbles around it)  and fry chicken thigh on both sides until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, 4-5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to chicken internal temperature, it should register 165 degrees.
  4. While chicken cooks, in a sauce pan, add oil and sauté chopped ginger and garlic for one minute, then add sesame oil, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch slurry, whisk well and then bring glaze to a low simmer and allow it to thicken for 2 minutes on medium heat. Once sauce is thick enough to stick to a spoon and has darkened slightly in color, remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from oil and drain on a wire rack.
  6. Plate chicken and drizzle with lemon, honey glaze.
  7. Garnish with sliced green onions and fresh lemons.

Tools you’ll need to make my easy crispy lemon chicken recipe:

Cast Iron Skillet

Saucepan

Meat thermometer

Lemon squeezer

Common questions:

Do I have to use chicken thighs?

No, you can use chicken breasts for this dish as well. Dark meat has more flavor and won’t dry out as quickly as the leaner cut of chicken breast but either will work for this recipe, your choice.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, you can prepare the recipe, then freeze and vacuum seal and then air fry the chicken when you want to enjoy it.

Can I use the air fryer or the oven?

Yes, keep in mind the flavor might be different as air frying does not use oil and it’s hard to replicate a pan-fried method but yes, you can opt for a healthier way of preparation by making this in the oven or air fryer. Cooking times will vary based on the selected method.  

More recipes to try:

Chicken Piccata

If you make this easy crispy lemon chicken recipe be sure to tag me at @asiliglamcooks on Instagram so that I can re-post it.

Easy Crispy Lemon Chicken

Crispy pieces of battered boneless chicken thighs pan-fried to golden perfection and finished with a zippy sweet, lemon glaze.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4-6 small organic Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Water plus more if batter is too thick
  • Corn Oil for frying, about 1/2 a cup to shallow fry, more to deep fry

For Lemon Glaze

  • 2 large Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1/2 a large Lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • Water a splash to balance out the sauce – adjust according to taste

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, egg, olive oil, water, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix with a whisk for about 30 seconds until the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are well incorporated. You want the mixture to be thick but not lumpy. If it’s too thin, add more flour to make It thicker. If too thick, add more water to loosen.
  • Submerge chicken thighs into the batter and coat well on both sides.
  • In a shallow frying pan on medium heat add oil (the oil is hot enough when you put a wooden spoon in the oil and you see tiny bubbles around it)  and fry chicken thigh on both sides until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, 4-5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check the chickens internal temperature, it should register 165 degrees.
  • While chicken cooks, in a sauce pan, add oil and sauté chopped ginger and garlic on medium-low heat for one minute, then add sesame oil, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch, whisk well and then bring glaze to a low simmer and allow it to thicken for 2 minutes on medium heat. Once sauce is thick enough to stick to a spoon and has darkened slightly in color, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from oil and drain on a wire rack.
  • Plate chicken and drizzle with lemon, honey glaze.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and fresh lemons.

Notes

For faster cooking time and a different presentation, you can cut the chicken into small one-inch cubes and then batter and fry. 

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