My brand spanking new gluten free Cajun Chinese lemon chicken is a fusion of love, pure love, y'all!! My favorite take out dish, pulled all the way down to the bayou starting with a scrumptious hybrid fried chicken marinade. Then, the caramelized Cajun trinity and garlic, cassava flour-battered fried chicken cubes, and a four-ingredient finale sauce takes the whole thing way, way over the top. Perfect for those days when you want it all, and you want it in one sizzling hot home-cooked skillet. Yep and yay...
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And There I Was in the Kitchen, Craving Cajun Then Chinese...
A few days ago, I was in the kitchen wondering for the tenth time what I was going to cook that day. Of course, I wanted something Cajun. But, just as soon as I would settle on one of my trusty Louisiana recipes, a craving for Chinese would emerge.
So, I kept going back and forth in my mind. Cajun, Chinese, Cajun, Chinese. After 30 minutes of this torture, I finally decided that I was going to make a Cajun/Asian fusion dish using what I already had on hand.
Although I order other dishes from our local Chinese take out, it's their lemon chicken that I love the most. I've always loved anything that featured lemon, as the mix of tart and sweet seems to comfort me all the way down to my bones.
Knowing Full Well What's Going on in the World Outside of My Writing Cocoon...
Don't get me wrong. I am well aware that we are in the midst of the health scare of a lifetime. 2020 rang into almost instantaneous mass confusion and misery. And I honestly do care deeply about the health and welfare of others.
But, I'm personally not scared of getting the virus. Nope. As a born-again Christian, I have total faith that nothing can ever happen to me unless the Most High God approves it from His throne. Yep. So, I trust in Him 100 percent. And, I know that if this, or anything else, falls upon me that's not desirable, then it's God will to strengthen me through it. Or, to use it to take me Home to my eternally prepared place. Either way, I serve and trust Him.
However, my very, very tender heart hurts for the world. And for those who have it or have loved ones that have died from it. And then there's the unemployment, the food shortages, and the closed "everything" outside of my front door.
So, in the midst of all this uncertain craziness, a fusion of two of the things I love most in the world went down in my kitchen. And it worked, y'all!! The comfort level in this gluten free Cajun Chinese lemon chicken was even higher than I thought it would be! The perfectly fried marinated chicken bites were addictive. The bonus orange bell pepper in the browned Cajun trinity almost tasted like candy. And the simple sauce pulled it all together into a dream dish that's permanently going on the monthly dinner rotation at the Liner residence....
How to Make Gluten Free Cajun Chinese Lemon Chicken in Your Own Kitchen
Start the gluten free Cajun Chinese lemon chicken by cutting the chicken breast into bite-sized cubes. Then, whisk the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Coat the chicken cubes with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate, or set aside while you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Then, heat oil for frying. Dredge the chicken cubes in beaten eggs then cassava flour. Fry in batches until done, and keep warm in the microwave, if necessary.
When the trinity is browned, stir in the minced garlic. And cook it for 1 additional minute.
While the trinity/garlic mixture browns, pour the water, lemon juice, sugar, and hot sauce into a small bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Stir until combined, and set aside.
Then, shake the gluten free cornstarch into the skillet, and stir to incorporate.
Now, pour the lemon sauce into the skillet, and cook down for a few minutes until it reduces by at least one-third. Add the fried chicken to the skillet in batches, coating each piece with the sauce before you move on to the next batch.
Then, serve immediately. (And sorry I forgot to take the final prep shot, but it goes really fast and I didn't want to burn our food.)
All I can say about this gluten free Cajun Chinese lemon chicken is that I wish that I would have thought of it sooner. It's so comforting, so soul-hugging, and so incredibly flavorful that I honestly can't wait to make it again.
So, this is definitely the kind of dish for you if you need a little something strange mixed with a little something familiar right now. You know, to feed your spirit and your body simultaneously. And, to strengthen yourself to handle whatever might come your way today, tomorrow, or in the near future.
Share this gluten free Cajun Chinese lemon chicken with those who love you for being the uniquely eccentric, eternally faithful creature that you soooo are. And see y'all on the yum side...
Gluten Free Cajun Chinese Lemon Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
For the Chicken Marinade
For the Gluten Free Fried Cajun Chinese Chicken
- oil for frying
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the Gluten Free Cajun Chinese Chicken Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 onion chopped into 2-inch squares
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 2-inch squares
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped into 2-inch squares
- 2 celery ribs, chopped into 2-inch squares
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and gluten free hot sauce to taste
- 1 tablespoon gluten free corn starch
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Submerge the chicken in the marinade, and toss to coat.
- Set aside for at least 30 minutes, but up to 3 hours covered in the refrigerator.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
- Dredge the marinated chicken cubes in the eggs, then the flour.
- Fry in batches for several minutes, removing each batch when a digital thermometer inserted into the fried chicken cubes reads 165 degrees F.
- Set aside on a paper-towel line plate. Keep warm in the microwave, if necessary.
- While the chicken is frying, place the chopped onion, bell peppers, celery, and butter or oil in a well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Cook until browned over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Stir the gluten free corn starch into the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, or until its fully absorbed into the veggies.
- Stir the water, lemon juice, sugar, and hot sauce together in a small bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the skillet, then add the fried chicken cubes in batches, coating the cubes in the sauce.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce reduces by one-third.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.