Sticky Lemon Chicken with Rice

Think of this as a chicken stir-fry, with the volume turned up where flavour is concerned. Chicken can be bland at the best of times, but with the addition of a little sweetness and the citric sharpness from lemon it goes from blah to brilliant. [NOTE: this recipe is from a previous paid campaign with Siúcra]

We’d suggest investing in a whole chicken for this, as you can make homemade stock from the bones whilst the meat marinades, and this really levels up this dish. Serve with rice and even soak and stir through some cashews if you like or add some crunch at the last minute with slices of white onion. We don’t often use the phrase ‘fakeaway’ but….

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Rice

Serves 2-4

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp shaoixing rice wine (or white wine)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornflour

For the stock (Optional)

  • Chicken bones and wings/wing tips
  • 1 brown onion, skin-on and cut into eighths
  • 1 bulb of garlic, skin-on and halved
  • 1 carrot, cleaned and chopped
  • 75ml wine or shaoixing rice wine, to deglaze
  • Lemon peels (optional)
  • Water, to top up 

  • 1 free-range chicken, jointed, or a packet of chicken breasts or thighs
  • 50g Siúcra caster sugar 
  • A handful of sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tsp each Nam Pla (fish sauce) and sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 3 lemons, peeled and juiced plus extra for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (black, white or a combination of both)
  • Rice, to serve

1. If using a whole chicken, joint and skin the chicken, reserving the bones for stock (break them down into smaller pieces if possible). Season the bones in salt and brown in a large saucepan in a little oil  until golden, followed by the onion, carrot and garlic. Deglaze the pot (scraping the bottom) with the wine before following with enough stock to cover the ingredients and bring it to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the lemon peels (optional) and allow to infuse its flavour into the broth for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make your marinade and add to your chicken –– whether using thigh meat, breast meat or a combination of both, cut into bite-size pieces. Cover and allow to sit for 30-45 minutes in the fridge. 

3. When the stock has given both colour and flavour, check for seasoning and then drain, removing all the chicken bones and vegetables. Take 200ml of this broth and in a saucepan reduce by half, then leave to one side.

4. In a frying pan or pot on a medium heat, add 1 tsp or so of oil and add your chicken, taking care not to add any leftover or excess marinade to the pan. Allow the chicken to cook on all sides until no more pink flesh can be seen and add in your reduced stock, bringing to the boil and then reducing to a simmer. 

5. Add the cornflour to the lemon juice, stirring to dissolve and add to the pan alongside the sugar. Allow everything to reduce to a sticky glaze coating, which may take a couple of minutes, removing whilst thick but still light in colour as it will continue to darken as it cooks down.

6. Serve immediately with rice of your choice, topping with thin slices or crescents of the leftover lemon and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


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