Growing up in Boise, Yen Ching’s Lemon Chicken was the ultimate wuss-out dish: sticky and more sweet than sour, it was basically fried chicken strips coated in a thick, hot version of Minute Maid lemonade. Though I can’t say I know what real Chinese lemon chicken is supposed to taste like, I’m pretty sure that their sugar-coated version isn’t it.
After receiving a windfall of Meyer lemons from a friend in New Orleans, I decided to make my own version, adding some veggies and dried chilies and taking out the frying bit (post-NOLA, I’m on a bit of a health kick). This stir-fry, I thought, would have the guts to be really, really sour. And it was. Try it … but beware, honey, it ain’t sugar-coated.