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Lemon Sauce HeavenBy Vicki McClure Davidson
Last week, chicken breasts and fryers were on sale for a song, so we've stocked up.
Wanting to take advantage of our lemon tree's current huge bounty, I quickly whipped up a lovely lemon sauce (with freshly squeezed lemon juice) to drizzle over boneless chicken breast strips (the chicken strips were marinated for two hours with half a bottle of discounted Italian salad dressing and then grilled to yummy perfection on my fabulous George Foreman grill). Easy, easy, easy to do.
Very important: When you're making a white sauce, you must add the acid (in this case, the lemon zest and lemon juice) to the mixture AFTER the sauce has thickened. If you add it too early, it won't thicken up correctly.
Also, the liquid you add must be COLD. Never add a hot liquid or it won't turn out right. Continual stirring when making a thickened sauce is important to prevent lumping and scorching — be sure to keep scraping the sides of the pan, as thickening occurs quicker on the outside than in the center.
Rather than using a store-bought packet to make any kind of sauce, doing it yourself usually costs next to nothing and takes just about the same amount of time to prepare.
Here's my created-on-the-fly recipe for Lemon Sauce Heaven:
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. flour
- 3/4 c. COLD milk (you can use non-fat dry milk, prepared according to instruction; I used skim milk)
- 1 T. lemon zest
- Juice of one fresh lemon (or, approx. 3 tablespoons of lemon concentrate)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp sugar
Melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour. Keep stirring until the flour is totally absorbed and a paste forms. Add milk, constantly stirring to prevent lumping or scorching. Once the white sauce has thickened, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Continue stirring and cook on medium-low for another 2 minutes.
Drizzle the lemon sauce over cooked chicken, turkey, pork, or fish; excellent on vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, fresh green beans, potatoes, or cauliflower cut into florets. Mix it into cooked rice. It can also be used for a warm dipping sauce.
Increase or decrease the amount of lemon juice and zest to your own family's preference.
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