One thing I love about my job is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone in small ways… if it were up to me, I’d leave Chinese food to the pros (and Vietnamese food, and Thai) – part of what makes it taste so good is the not knowing what exactly went into it, the experience of making ginger beef / lemon chicken / mu shu pork night after night in well-seasoned woks and skillets. Who am I to pull off a proper batch of lemon chicken? We talked about citrus on CBC this morning, and with Chinese New Year coming up on Friday, I figured I’d give it a go.
And really, the ingredients that go into this are not at all exotic – you need not even venture down the aisle of the grocery store that has coconut milk and rice noodles and other no longer particularly extraordinary ingredients. It’s is really no more than chicken and soy sauce and lemon and honey and cornstarch – it’s all in how you put them together. Everyone liked the lemon sauce – which had the colour of unfiltered apple juice, rather than of lemon pie filling (it’s common to not use stock and add yellow food colouring) – but the chicken, which is simply marinated, dipped in cornstarch and fried, could be doused in any number of sauces – homemade or jarred sweet and sour sauce or some such.
It’s not that I want to replace Chinese takeout or food court ginger beef – but if you’re so inclined, it’s fun to DIY.