Chinese Lemon Chicken

Originally published on March 3, 2015

Lemon chicken and my family go way back. It was one of the first dishes that I truly conquered when Brent and I first started dating, and after serving it several times, I didn’t want to become Debra from “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where it became the only thing I could make. I think I’ve avoided that (phew!) but do still tend to keep my eye out for new ways to make lemon chicken that are just as tasty as what I used to make, but with a new twist. When I came upon Chinese Lemon Chicken in The Recipe Encyclopedia, I was thrilled to try lemon chicken with an Asian flare. The book calls for a whole 3-pound chicken but chicken thighs were what I had on hand, so that’s what was used. I served it over top of fried rice and the entire dish was a thing of beauty.


8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

For the lemon sauce:

2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1/2 cup water
Salt and white pepper, to taste 


1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place in a casserole dish or, if using a whole chicken, on a rack in a baking dish. Combine the soy sauce, white wine, lemon juice, and brown sugar thoroughly and brush over the chicken.

2.) Bake the chicken for 1 hour or until the juices run clear, basting occasionally with the remaining soy mixture. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes.

3.) While chicken is resting combine the lemon juice, sugar, white wine and soy sauce in a small pan set over medium heat. Blend the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl and add to the pan. Whisk until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Add the scallions and season with salt and white pepper. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

4.) Serve and enjoy!