Crunchy Jamaican Lemon Ginger Chicken

January 16, 2012
Crunchy Jamaican Lemon Ginger Chicken

Author Notes: Lemon is one of my desert island must-haves.With very few ingredients,lemon juice, tamari, ginger,and a crispy coating, this chicken is moist and tender and packs quite a flavor punch. It is my riff on a recipe in the Intercontinental Gourmet Cookbook(from about 30 years ago, in the days when I was still handcopying recipes out of library books and onto 3x5 cards!)

Makes: approximately 20 chicken drumettes or 50 cubes of chicken.


Chicken Marinade

  • 2 pounds chicken drumettes or boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1- 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup Japanese soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup gingerroot, skin-on; sliced into thin coins and smashed with side of cleaver

Coating and Frying the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or kamut(or white) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 quarts canola oil
In This Recipe


Chicken Marinade

  1. In a non aluminum bowl, mix lemon juice , soy and salt til salt is dissolved. Add ginger. Add chicken and stir to coat all pieces.If you use drumettes, poke them all over with a sharp skewer Let marinade 5 hours at room temperature, stirring up the chicken cubes every hour or the drumettes every 1/2 hour. After this period, cook them or refrigerate them (but not longer than 24 hours orthe marinade acids will break down the protein too much and the chicken will get mushy.) If chilled, remove chicken from refrigerator two hours before frying- to come down to room temperature.

Coating and Frying the Chicken

  1. Mix flour through paprika in plastic container with tight fitting lid. In a pot big enough so that the oil is at least 3 inches deep, heat oil to 365 degrees F. Place some chicken in flour container so that it is not crowded, snap lid tightly and shake well to coat chicken. When placing chicken in the hot oil, do not crowd the pieces. Fry drumettes 5 minutes or cubes approximately 3 minutes until cooked through but moist. Remove with slotted spatula to drain on paper towels on top of folded newspaper. As oil returns to temperature, continue frying batches of chicken, re-tossing in flour just before frying- to assure a dry coating.. As an hors d'oeuvre, one chicken cube could be placed on the end of a short skewer, or the drumettes could be served as is. As an entree either type could be served as is.

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Jamaican|Chicken|Ginger|Lemon|Paprika|Lemon Juice|Fry|Hors D'Oeuvre|Entree