Here’s the recipe for the Roasted Lemon Chicken that was featured in a recent bento box. The recipe is best when you have time to fully marinate the chicken so I would tag this as a “cook for dinner then pack leftovers for your next day’s bento lunch”. If you prefer a lighter flavor, you can whip this up in about 30-40 minutes.
Lemon Roasted Chicken
4 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces. I removed the skin, but you don’t have to. I also buy free range chicken.
1/4 cup of light shoyu
1/8 cup of mirin
splash of sake (optional)
juice of 1 large lemon
1/8 cup of pureed fresh ginger
1/8 cup of honey
1/8 cup of cornstarch
Combine all the ingredients except the corn starch and lemon zest.
Marinate the chicken for more than an hour for best flavor. ( I hesitated to post a raw meat photo, it just never looks good)
After the marination phase place the chicken and mixture in a skillet and cook at medium-high and simmer until it comes to a boil. Stir constantly.
Working quickly, mix the cornstarch with water or liquid from the pan until it’s dissolved. While the chicken is boiling pour the cornstarch mix over the chicken and continue stirring. The liquid will immediately thicken. You can see in the photo that it got lumpy. But don’t worry. It’s okay because these lumps will act like a crust when it’s roasted. The idea is coat the chicken with the thickened sauce. Turn off the heat and get ready to roast.
Here’s the good part, pre-heat the oven (I use my toaster oven as usual) to 425 degrees. When it’s nice and hot, remove the chicken from the skillet then place the pieces (not touching each other) on a pan and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes until browned. Any bits of lumpy cornstarch will crisp and create a sticky crust. Turn them over and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Garnish with lemon zest and serve. For packing in a bento box, let the chicken cool before packing.
That’s about it. You can easily adjust the recipe to your own tastes. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really measure out my ingredients. And for recipes that contain meat, I cook from memory as I don’t taste the foods while preparing. I do taste the sauces before it touches the meat and adjust the flavors before marinating, etc. This chicken doesn’t have a strong lemon tang but you can easily adjust by either adding more lemon to the marinate or glaze with lemon juice while roasting. I personally like adding the lemon zest.
Unfortunately, I forgot the zest when I packed the bento. The good news… Saba Man didn’t notice. :)