Baked Lemon Chicken

This baked lemon chicken is, in a word, amazing.  And I was informed immediately after supper that this is one that needs to be repeated.

The downside to living with a food blogger is you don’t often get to have the same meal twice!  I have a bad habit of never making things again, even if we love them, or at least not for a long while.  So now my family will make sure to tell me when something is such a winner that it needs to make it into the regular rotation, not just get lost in the list of recipes we love but rarely (or never!) make again.

This was one of those recipes.  One that WILL be made again, and likely fairly often!  It was that good.


Baked Lemon Chicken


Of course, when it comes to Chinese takeout, lemon chicken is one of those things that is always on everybody’s list of what to order.  You know, the deep fried chicken with neon yellow lemon sauce?  Yeah, this is much better.

The sauce isn’t neon yellow though, so no one really believed me when I said it was lemon chicken.  But it tastes nice and lemony, and is much less sugary then the takeout stuff.  Less sweet, but a whole lot more flavour.  Plus, it’s baked, not deep fried, so it’s much healthier.  The chicken pieces are lightly coated in cornstarch, then dunked in an egg wash, before browning the outside on the stovetop.  Then it’s tossed in the lemon sauce and baked until cooked through.  Easy and delicious.

That’s a winning recipe in my books.

And, evidently, in everyone else’s around here.  I should probably  make this one again.  Soon.


Baked Lemon Chicken


Baked Lemon Chicken
Yield: serves 4-6
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into one inch pieces
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 - 1½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the cornstarch and the chicken pieces to a large ziplock bag, seal it, and shake to completely coat the chicken pieces. Dip the chicken pieces in the beaten egg and place in the hot skillet. Cook each side for about 30 seconds until golden brown but not cooked through. Work in batches if necessary so the chicken is in a single layer in the pan. Place the chicken in a large baking dish (about 9x13 inches, it should fit in a single layer).
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, and sugar, and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Lower to a simmer and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and whisk it into the sauce. Continue cooking until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour it over the prepared chicken in the baking dish, turning the chicken to coat it completely.
  4. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked through, turning the chicken to make sure it’s coated in the sauce once or twice during the baking time. Serve over hot cooked rice.
Source: Adapted from a combination of recipes: the sauce from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook and the method of cooking from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

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  1. Roxy says

    I made this for dinner tonight and my boyfriend said it was “deeee-licous!” I found was my baking time was more like 40 mins and it came out perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. mazdee says

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it last night for 2 and used half the recipe. Delicious with that sauce! But, I have one question: You say to cook 50-60 minutes in the oven or until done. That can’t be right, as “bite size” pieces of chicken breast are almost cooked by the time they are brown in the 1st step. I put mine in the oven for about 15 minutes and they were perfect. I think any longer, they would have been dry and tough.

    • stacey says

      Hi Mazdee, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I guess “bite size” was a poor choice of words as everyone’s idea of that would likely be different! I’ve updated the recipe to read “one inch pieces” now, which is generally what I do when a recipe says bite size, but maybe yours were smaller than that. I have made a number of variations of this, with the cooking process always the same, and I’ve never found the chicken to be dry after 50 minutes in the oven. But I do flip the pieces as quickly as possible in the skillet to just brown all the sides, but not cook it though. It’s more to get that crispy coating on the chicken, rather than to cook the chicken much at all. Glad it worked out for you at any rate! Thanks for reading!

    • stacey says

      It’s kind of annoying isn’t it? I think I need to start remaking stuff a little more often, enjoy the favourites more than once! I have been informed that this needs to be made again though so I think it will happen! Thanks Denise!

  3. says

    Dinner tonight was deeeelicious, Stacey. That photo you posted of the Baked Lemon Chicken looked SO amazing, that I knew I had to have some! We both enjoyed it, along with the Asian stir-fried broccoli. I even sprinkled the chicken with sesame seeds so it would look as appetizing as yours did!! These two recipes are definitely ‘keepers’.

  4. says

    Sesame seeds always suck me right in! For whatever reason haha This chicken looks and sounds wonderful. And you know it’s got to be good if your family insisted it go into regular rotation!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Ashley! We’re recent big fans of it too (never heard the term fakeout before but I love it! :) ). I have never made a lot of homemade Chinese food, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to become my new addiction, we enjoyed all these recipes so much!

    • stacey says

      I know right?! Sometimes I just want to make all the favourites, but then I don’t. My family would be thrilled if they ever got a bunch of repeat meals in a row! I’ll have to do that sometime! Thanks Cyndi!

  5. says

    So get this…Zach HATES lemon. UGH! He is so “Greek,” and he hates lemon. Whenever he goes away I eat all of the lemon-themed dishes that I can get my hands on. Definitely adding this delicious recipe to my “lemon vault.” Thanks for sharing, girlfriend!

    • stacey says

      Hate lemon?! How is that even possible? Just make it with orange instead, I’m sure that’d be good too. Actually now that I type that I’m totally making it again soon, but with orange!! Thanks Justine!

  6. says

    This looks so much better than takeout!
    And it’s hard not to make the same amazing dishes twice. I guess it’s just one in that huge category of food blogger problems. But it’s because we’re creating so much great new stuff!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Mir! Definitely not a bad problem to have, just annoying to my family that just wants meals they know and love! :)

    • stacey says

      I know right?! You have something you love and think that you’ll make it again soon, and then never do. Drives my family nuts! :) Thanks Taylor!


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