PF Chang's Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken / by Alex Boake

Last week I got a message from Matt and Stacy of Paleo Parents fame, asking if I wanted to participate in a PF Chang's Recreation Round-Up. I've been to the restaurant a couple times before, and have always found their dishes delicious and their gluten-free menu gives me peace of mind. However, I'm even more sensitive to industrial oils than I am to gluten, so it's not a place that I go to often. However, given the chance to participate in recreating one of my favourite dishes was a chance I wasn't going to pass up! My pick was the sweet and tart Philllip's Better Lemon Chicken. I'm calling my spin Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken!  Free of grains and industrial oils, you'll know exactly what's going into this dish; and it's GOOD! A perfect balance of tang and sweetness, it was a big hit with my family. The technique I used to make the Chicken part of the recipe is inspired by The Domestic Man's Chicken Nuggets.

Now, I know my specialty is illustrated recipes, but this time I felt like I wanted to photograph the dish and embellish it with an illustrated border. To be honest, I don't like drawing raw chicken.  : P

PF Chang's Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Organic Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Large Lemons, Sliced Thinly
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 7 Tbsp Coconut Sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour plus 2 Tbsp Water

Directions

Take the boneless, skinless Chicken and remove any extra fat or gristle, if needed.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices, striving for uniform thickness. Place into a plastic bag and marinate with the 1/2 cup Lemon Juice and 1/4 cup Tamari or Coconut Aminos. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Pour off some of the extra liquid, and then add the beaten eggs. Mix and let sit for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the Tapioca and Coconut Flour, the Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper. Pour off a bit more of the liquid from the Chicken, and then add the coating to the bag, squishing it until evenly distributed. Let sit for 5 minutes.

While it's sitting, in a pan, heat up some fat and cook the Lemon slices for about a minute. Then add the Chicken Broth, Coconut Sugar and Lemon Juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Once the lemon slices are breaking down a bit, in a separate bowl combine the Tapioca Flour and Water, mixing well. Add to the sauce, slowly, whisking continuously. Cook on medium, allowing it to bubble and thicken. Taste, and add more Coconut Sugar if too tart, or more Lemon Juice if too sweet. Set aside, and keep warm.

Now, taking a large pan, heat up some fat, ideally Coconut Oil, and bring to medium high heat. Add the coated chicken to the pan, making sure not to crowd them. Cook on both sides until golden and done through. It took about 4 lifts to do all of ours, but we used two pans so it took half the time. Replenish the cooking oil as needed. You can hold the cooked pieces in an oven heated to 200 until you're done cooking the rest.

To serve, make sure the sauce is hot, and then strain out the lemon slices. In a large bowl,  mix with the cooked coated Chicken. Works great family style with a large serving spoon in the middle of the table! Would be excellent over rice, if you do safe starches, or cauliflower rice if you don't! Also, you could steam a bunch of Broccoli and toss it together to add some greenery. Plenty of options!

 Enjoy, and make sure to check out all the rest of the recipes in this tasty round-up!