Zingy lemon chicken

Main Meals (Dinners)
Prep   15 min
Cook   25 min

A fresh approach to sweet and sour chicken, this dish is zesty, fragrant and packed with flavour. Serve this with any steamed vegetables you like: try carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, snowpeas or green beans.

  • Chicken thigh fillet, lean, raw, 800 g, skinless, trimmed of fat and halved
  • Ground turmeric, 3 teaspoon(s)
  • Oil spray, 1 spray(s) (2-sec spray)
  • Peanut oil, 1 tablespoon(s), or vegetable oil
  • Mustard seed, yellow, 2 teaspoon(s)
  • Red onion, 1 medium, finely diced
  • Red chilli, 2 chilli(s), finely sliced
  • Ginger, fresh, 1½ tablespoon(s), finely chopped
  • Cinnamon stick, 1 stick(s)
  • Dried cloves, 5 clove(s)
  • Chicken liquid stock, salt reduced, 1¼ cup(s), as per Budget Recipe Book
  • Lemon juice, 2 juice of 1 lemon
  • Lemon zest, 1 zest from 1 lemon, finely grated
  • Sultanas, 2 tablespoon(s)
  • Chinese broccoli (kai lan), 2 small bunch(s), trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths


  1. Dust the chicken pieces all over with 2 teaspoons of the turmeric. Place a large frying pan over medium–high heat and spray with cooking oil. Working in batches, cook the chicken for 2–3 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add the peanut or vegetable oil and mustard seeds and cook until the seeds begin to pop, then add the onion, chilli and ginger and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and remaining turmeric and cook for 1 minute more. Add the stock, lemon zest and juice and the sultanas and bring to the boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pan. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10–12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon and cover to keep warm. Increase the heat to high and boil the sauce, uncovered, for 2–3 minutes until thickened and reduced.
  3. Meanwhile, steam or boil the Chinese broccoli for 3–4 minutes until just tender, then drain.
  4. To serve, divide the Chinese broccoli among four plates, top with the chicken and spoon over the sauce.

TIP: For some added sweetness, add 1 finely chopped red capscium along with the spices and cook for 2 minutes. You could use fish or prawns instead of chicken (just adjust the cooking time accordingly).

Nutrition facts per serve
Makes 4 serves

Note: If food units vary from the book, be guided by the following food units.

Meat & Protein 2
Bread & Cereals0
Healthy Fats & Oils1
Protein39.8 g
Total fat15.9 g
- Saturated fat4 g
Total carbohydrates15.1 g
- Total sugars11.2 g
Fibre2.9 g
Sodium323 mg