When Life Hands You Lemonade ...

I started making this dish without planning to turn it into a lemon chicken stir-fry. I love using seasoned cornstarch for breading chicken strips in stir-fries because they have lovely texture and the cornstarch thickens whatever liquids I add to make a sauce. It just happened that I looked in my refrigerator when it came time to add the liquids and I noticed I had some lemonade just waiting there, so I added it and Voila!

Normally, I might add a little honey or the like to my stir-fry sauces, particularly when there's a youngster sitting down to the table, but the sweetness in the lemonade was more than enough to have happy faces surrounding the dinner table. Again, I usually add a little vinegar or lemon juice, but lemonade took care of that for me. The soy sauce rounded out the sauce with the seasonings in the breading completing it all. It's really hard to argue with a sauce this simple!

The vegetables in this stir-fry were what I had on hand from our CSA box, but you could use any combinations that appeal to you or that you have on hand. Weekday meal ideas are all about flexibility and speed and this ones has both of those in spades. You could even opt to have breaded pork or even tofu in this simple stir-fry. However you opt to enjoy it, you can smile, knowing your family will love it and you'll have time to sit back and relax at the end of the day!

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 1/3 c. cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt -- I chose a spicy variety
  • 1/2 teaspoon red or black pepper
  • 10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast strips
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. lemonade
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 T. sesame seeds

Combine the cornstarch, seasoned salt, and your choice of pepper to form a homogenous mixture. Dredge the chicken pieces in the mixture, making sure to get an even coating.

Hea the canola oil in a large, non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the chicken until it is mostly cooked and has formed a golden crust, about 7 minutes. Add the broccoli, onion, and red pepper and continue stir-frying until the vegetables are crisp-tender, another 5-7 minutes. Add the soy sauce, lemonade, and green onions and stir constantly until a thickened sauce forms. Remove from the heat and sprinkle liberally with the sesame seeds.

Serve over hot rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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