Double Lemon Chicken

This recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Test Kitchen and it is a take on Chinese takeout lemon chicken, but lightened up and with a much deeper flavored sauce, achieved using preserved lemon paste.

I had bought a jar of the above preserved lemon paste to make these Preserved Lemon Chicken Skewers and I had a quite a bit left, so was happy to come across another recipe using the paste. The original recipe has a cheater preserved lemon paste you can make with regular lemons, but I love the flavor of this paste I bought as it has the distinct flavor of preserved lemons.

Instead of deep fried breaded chicken, this recipe uses pounded out chicken breasts, marinated with a bit of cornstarch in the marinade and then pan fried. They crisp up a bit when cooking but are a lot lighter than the traditional lemon chicken.

We loved the deep, interesting flavor of this sauce. I served with over coconut rice, with some sautéed spinach, onion and pepper.

Double Lemon Chicken

Pan fried lemon chicken with a rich lemon sauce
Prep Time 1 day 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 day 50 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course, Sauce
Servings 6 servings


For the chicken:

  • 1 package bonless skinless chicken breasts halved if very large, then pounded out to 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon paste

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp preserved lemon paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

For serving:

  • 4 scallions sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • coconut rice or other rice
  • vegetables of your choice


For the chicken:

  • Pound the chicken as directed. Mix marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag and add the chicken. Marinate overnight. When ready to cook, put a few tbsp of oil in a hot skillet over medium high and add the chicken. Cook until browned on one side, then flip and cook until browned on the other. Continue cooking over medium heat until fully cooked through. Remove pan from the heat and set aside while you finish the rest of the dish.

For the sauce:

  • Combine the preserved lemon, soy sauce, stock, garlic, sugar, tumeric and cumin in a sauce pan and heat over medium until boiling. Reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced by 1/3. Combine a few tbsp of the sauce with the cornstarch in a heat safe bowl, whisk until smooth and whisk back into the sauce. Simmer until thickened and season with salt and pepper and the fresh lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the chicken and place over medium heat and allow to simmer until the chicken is hot.

To serve:

  • Place rice and chicken in a bowl and spoon over extra sauce. Top with scallions, cilantro and veggies and serve.
Keyword Chicken, Lunch, Main Dish, Sauce

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