Light Tasty Baked Lemon Chicken

Here is a wonderful low calorie chicken dish with a pleasant zing of lemon.
Before getting to the recipe though… listed below are some interesting facts and tidbits about lemons that I found while searching a variety of fun facts on the internet.
Benefits of Lemons in cooking?  Rather then go straight to a simple and delicious recipe that includes lemon, I thought I’d share so interesting facts and benefits of this citrus that go beyond adding the welcoming flavor enhancement that lemons bring to both main meal entrees and dessert recipes. Lemon Leaves  Lemon leaves are not eaten, freshly picked lemon leaves (from trees that have not been sprayed with pesticides) can be used to add flavoring by wrapping meats in leaves before roasting. Add lemon leaves to olive oil or vinegar to impart a fresh, lemony flavor. Use whole lemon leaves in recipes that call for lemongrass then pull them out and discard them after cooking (similar to how you may cook with bay leaves and toss them after cooking.  Add a few leaves to fish stews for a fresh light flavor. 

Limoncello In Italy the Femminello St. Teresa lemon trees happen to contain a high oil content in the outer peel/zest.  These lemons are used to make Limoncello a delightful lemony liqueur. I have made this liqueur successfully… after getting a tutorial from a lovely fellow RV traveling friend Helen.  Helen and Dave bring small bottles of this delightful evening delight to campsite potlucks or a hostess gift when visiting other campers.  Delightful! 

 

Lemon Facts

Lemon trees are thought to have been present by 2 AD in Ancient Rome. The citrus fruit lemons gives flavor to baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, marinades, drinks, and desserts, and  a good source of vitamin C.   Lemons are 5% citric acid.  Ph 2.2.  An average lemon contains 3 tbsp. of lemon juice and the calorie count is 15 calories.

Add a squeeze or two of lemon over some freshly cut fruit to keep the fruit from browning.

Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C  Vitamin C is essential for health, and a deficiency can lead to health problems.

The British Navy carries enough lemon onboard their ships to provide the sailors with 1 ounce of lemon juice a day.  The early explorers also knew the value of citrus and took lemons on their long voyages to help prevent or treat scurvy, a life threatening condition that was common among sailors.

Lemons are an excellent source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants which help remove free radicals that can damage cells in the body.  Other benefits include boosting your immune system.

Preventive health benefits

Lemons and lemon juice have antioxidants that may help prevent free radicals from causing cell damage that can lead to cancer. However, exactly how antioxidants can help prevent cancer remains unclear.

Boosting the immune system

Foods that are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants may help strengthen the immune system against the germs that cause the common cold and the flu.

One review found that, while vitamin C supplements do not appear the reduce the incidence of colds in a population, they may help reduce the length of time a cold lasts. Vitamin C may also help boost immunity in people who are undergoing extreme physical activity.

Squeezing a whole lemon into a glass of hot water with a large spoonful of honey, this makes a soothing drink for someone with a cough or cold and the lemon has antibacterial properties.

Scurvy Prevention

Although not common in modern day life, it is worth noting that if a person does not consume enough vitamin C, they will develop a deficiency which is known as scurvy. It is rare in the United States, but it can affect people who do not have a varied diet that includes Vitamin C.  Symptoms can start to appear within a month of not consuming vitamin C.  Symptoms include tiredness, inflamed gums in the mouth, joint pain, slow wound healing.

The British Navy carries enough lemon onboard their ships to provide the sailors with 1 ounce of lemon juice a day.  The early explorers knew the value of citrus and took lemons on their long voyages to help prevent or treat scurvy, a life threatening condition that was common among sailors in the era of the early explorers.

 

Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C  Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant.  One lemon weighing 58 grams and contains 30.7 mg of Vitamin C.  This is approximately 1/3 of the daily Vitamin C requirement so adding other foods with Vitamin C into your daily intake is a good idea.

 

When is a lemon ripe? Unlike many fruits, lemons do not ripen or improve in quality after picking. People should harvest lemons when they are ripe and store them at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Food Fact  Lemons pair well with both savory and sweet dishes.  Add a squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish, shrimp, scallops, chicken.

Easy Salad dressing   A squeeze of lemon and small amount of olive oil with herbs is a great healthy alternative to bottled salad dressings as these dressings often contain additional salt, sugar, and other additives, and they can be high in fat and calories,

Although it is true that the nutrients in lemons offer several health benefits, it is difficult to obtain all the necessary nutrients from lemon due to the small amount of lemon typically recommended and consumed… so eat a varied diet and include of foods rich in Vitamin C in your food choices.

Recipe

Lemon Chicken

This is a super lemony RV that can be prepared easily on a stovetop, toaster oven or convection oven in your RV or a heavy weight cast iron pan on an outdoor grill at the campsite and the lemon sauce is amazing!

Ingredients

1                                                chicken breast, large boneless skinless, cut in half lengthwise

1                                                egg, white only

1/4 cup                                    all-purpose flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 baking gluten free flour

1/4 tsp                                      cayenne pepper can be added to the flour

2 tbsp                                      vegetable oil (if saute’ method is used rather than baking)

 

 

Sauce

1/4 cup                                      sugar

2 tbsp                                        corn syrup

1/3 cup                                      chicken broth

1 tsp                                           lemon zest

3 tbsp                                         lemon juice

2 tbsp                                         cornstarch

2 tbsp                                         rice wine vinegar

1/4 tsp                                        salt

1 clove                                         garlic, minced

 

Thickener

2 tsp                                             cornstarch

2 tsp                                              water

Garnish

1/2                                            lemon cut horizontally in full thin slices

1                                                 green onion, rinsed, chopped

Directions

  1.  To bake: Preheat toaster oven or convection oven in your RV to 425 F.  Note:  If you like you could saute’ the chicken in a heavy skillet on the RV galley stove or grill. .. just heat the skillet over direct high heat when you are ready to cook.
  2. Rinse produce, pat dry.  Mince or chop as directed and set aside.
  3.  Prepare the lemon sauce.  Zest and juice the lemon, combine sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Do not add the thickener yet.  Place saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat.
  4.  Stir the sauce until it comes to a soft boil then lower heat to medium/low.
  5.  Whisk thickener (cornstarch and water) add thickener to sauce while whisking. Continue whisking until slightly thickened then take the saucepan off heat.
  6. Rinse chicken, pat dry and cut the chicken in to 2 lengthwise pieces.
  7. Pound the chicken on a cutting board placing the chicken between 2 pieces of wax paper or placing a ziplock bag over the chicken on the cutting board.  Use a small iron skillet to pound the chicken to 1/2″ thickness.
  8. In a medium bowl add egg white and whisk until frothy.  Add pounded chicken and let it rest in the egg white for 10 minutes.
  9. Place flour on a cutting board or in a medium bowl.  Dip chicken in the flour a piece at a time then let the chicken air dry for 10 minutes.
  10. Bake the chicken in an oven safe pan or baking sheet in a preheated oven for approximately 14 – 15 minutes.  Chicken is ready when the internal temperature is 165F.  If you saute’ the chicken instead of using an oven…med/  Place skillet over high direct heat, add 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, when oil is warm, add chicken and saute’ to the advised internal temperature above.  If chicken is browning too quickly lower the heat a little to medium.

Want more RV Recipes? My cookbook Small Kitchen Big Flavors! is available at a great Introductory Price on eBay and my blog site at: https:/smallkitchenbigflavorsblog.wordpress.com

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