This was a firm favorite in my dad’s Cantonese restaurant – delicate, battered crispy chicken served on a bed of pineapple and drenched in a sweet yet tangy lemon sauce.
- Preparation times: 10 minutes
- Cooking times: 10 minutes
- Serves: 2
For the chicken
- groundnut oil for deep-frying
- 2 large chicken breast fillets
- ½ tsp salt
- 80 g (⅔ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 egg
For the honey and lemon sauce
- 120 ml (½ cup) lemon cordial
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tbsp custard powder
- 200 g (7 oz) drained tinned pineapple chunks
- ½ lemon, cut into slices, to garnish
First, start to make the sauce. Pour the cordial and honey into a wok and add the custard powder. Stir over a medium heat until the sauce starts to boil. Lower the heat and stir continuously, until you reach the desired consistency. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
Heat a large saucepan or wok over a medium to high heat and fill with enough oil so it’s deep enough for the chicken to float. Heat to 170°C (345°F).
Meanwhile, butterfly each chicken breast (slice through the breast horizontally but not all the way through, then open it out so it resembles a butterfly). Season with the salt. Tip the cornflour onto a large plate, break the egg into a wide shallow bowl and beat. Coat the chicken on the cornflour, brushing off any excess, then dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg. Coat the chicken with cornflour for a second time, brushing off excess flour.
Carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil and deep-fry for 6–8 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown, crispy and cooked all the way through. If you have a food probe thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 78°C (175°F). Transfer to a wire rack to drain or onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Reheat the sauce and arrange the pineapple on a serving plate. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, place on top of the pineapple and garnish with the sliced lemon. Pour the sauce over the top and serve straightaway.
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