Chinese Lemon Chicken. Crispy fried chicken coated in a zesty tangy lemon sauce with a hint of garlic. This quick Chinese lemon chicken recipe takes 30 minutes and is simple to make, as we are not deep frying. I also share AIR FRYING instructions below in the Notes section.
Dice chicken thighs into bite size pieces, about 1-inch wide. Transfer diced chicken to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine your sauce ingredients as listed. Set aside.
Add cornstarch to the bowl of diced chicken and evenly coat each piece in the cornstarch with tongs. If you have extra time, you can place cornstarch on a large shallow bowl and coat individually coat the chicken pieces into the starch until evenly coated for that crispy coating. Alternatively, you could also toss the diced chicken in a Ziplock bag with the cornstarch.
Heat a large skillet, heavy-bottomed pot or wok over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. Allow oil to reach a temperature of 350 degrees F with a digital thermometer. To check if oil is hot enough without a digital instant read thermometer, place a wooden chopstick into the oil and look for bubbles to form. Once you see bubbles, your oil is hot enough.
Carefully lower coated chicken away from you and spread apart quickly to prevent pieces from sticking to each other. Fry chicken for 6-7 minutes in total until golden brown, flipping over halfway.
Remove fried chicken pieces from oil and transfer to a wire rack or baking sheet lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Remove any excess oil from pan.
Heat pan on medium heat and pour in sauce. Keep stirring sauce until it bubbles and thickens and you have a sticky sauce.
Toss in fried chicken. Optional, garnish with sesame seeds, lemon slices or green onions. Enjoy!
How to Air Fry Chicken:
Place cornstarch on a plate and in small batches, dredge cubed chicken into starch until evenly coated.
Transfer to air fryer basket in a single layer giving each piece some space. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to do this in a couple batches.
Spray oil over the chicken.
Air fry at 400 F for 12-14 minutes until crispy. No need to flip halfway.
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