Tangy Southern Lemonade Chicken Recipe – A Must-Try Dish!

Welcome, dear reader, to my Southern Lemonade Chicken Recipe. There are few things in life that bring people together like the delicious aroma of home-cooked food, and this recipe is no exception.

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I have spent years refining this dish to ensure that each bite is packed full of flavor and nostalgia. This recipe is perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to backyard barbecues. The combination of sweet and savory will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen and looking to spice up your cooking routine, then this Lemonade Chicken Recipe is perfect for you. This delectable dish combines the refreshing tang of lemonade with tender chicken for a meal that is both unique and satisfying. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also budget-friendly and sure to please even the pickiest eaters at your table.

So come along with me on this culinary journey as we explore the many layers of flavor in my Southern Lemonade Chicken Recipe. Trust me; it’s going to be one heck of a ride!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Lemonade Chicken
Southern Lemonade Chicken

As a chef who specializes in Southern cuisine, I can proudly say that this southern lemonade chicken recipe is one of my all-time favorites. And once you try it, I’m sure it will become one of yours too.

This recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors resulting in a delicious burst of taste with every bite. Plus, it’s versatile, easy to make and goes well with almost any dish – be it rice or a fresh salad. And the best part? You don’t have to slave away in the kitchen for hours to get restaurant-quality results.

The secret to this recipe is in the homemade sauce which is made with ingredients like soy sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, brown sugar and tangy lemonade concentrate among others. Combined together and smothered on crispy fried chicken, this sauce provides an irresistible aroma and flavor that will leave you craving for more.

Another thing that sets apart this recipe is how customizable it is! Whether you want to marinate bone-in chicken thighs or opt for oven-fried chicken breast tenders, you can experiment with different cuts of meat and still get excellent results.

So if you want to impress your family and friends with a delicious yet effortless meal that will have them asking for seconds, give this Southern Lemonade Chicken Recipe a try. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did!

Ingredient List

 Take a sip of summer with every bite!
Take a sip of summer with every bite!

Here is a list of ingredients you will need to get started:

For the marinade:

  • 12 oz frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (2 cans)
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the chicken:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Oil for frying

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 3/4 cup thawed frozen lemonade concentrate (1½ cans)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Optional Vegetables:

  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Red bell pepper, sliced
  • Snow pea pods
  • Sliced scallions or spring onions
  • Sliced carrots

Note: These ingredients are for making Lemonade Chicken in a slow-cooker or oven-fried. However, if you want to make grilled Lemonade Chicken, adjust according to your preference.

The Recipe How-To

 Zesty and tangy meet in a perfectly balanced dish.
Zesty and tangy meet in a perfectly balanced dish.

Now that we have gathered our ingredients, it is time to bring this recipe together. As Chef Chris Scott once said, “it’s all about layering flavors!” This Lemonade Chicken Recipe is a perfect example of how layering flavors can elevate even the most basic chicken into something extraordinary. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have an outstanding dish that will impress your family and wow your taste buds.


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts or 8 chicken thighs
  • 12 oz frozen lemonade concentrate thawed (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Step 1: Chicken Marination

Start by combining the lemonade concentrate, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mix well until combined. Then, place your chicken in the bowl and ensure it is covered with the marinade.

Cover the bowl, and refrigerate it for at least two hours (or overnight if possible) to allow the chicken to absorb all those delicious flavors.

Step 2: Frying It Up

After marinating your chicken, remove it from the marinade, shaking off any excess liquid. Place the chicken on a plate, then sprinkle with seasoned salt, celery salt, and black pepper.

In another bowl or Ziplock bag, combine the flour with some additional seasoned salt and pepper to create your breading mixture. Dip each piece of chicken into this mixture to coat evenly.

Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat with vegetable oil as needed — just enough to coat the surface of your pan. Add your breaded chicken to the pan once it’s hot enough (around 350°F). Fry each chicken breast for 5-7 minutes on each side until it’s golden brown and crispy.

Step 3: Sweet & Sour Sauce

For the sweet and sour sauce, you’ll need to combine ketchup, brown sugar, white vinegar, and the remaining 1 cup of lemonade concentrate in a saucepan.
Stir well over a low heat until everything is dissolved.

Adjust seasonings to your taste buds by adding more sugar, salt, or black pepper if necessary.
Don’t forget to add those beautiful scallions, green and red bell peppers, snow pea pods, and sliced carrots into the saucepan.
Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables stew for 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 4: Serving Time

Place your fried chicken onto a plate and let it rest for about 2 minutes before serving. Then spoon some of that glorious sweet sour sauce made from lemonade concentrate over each piece of chicken.

Garnish with lemon zest and freshly chopped spring onions if you want an

Substitutions and Variations

 Say goodbye to boring chicken and hello to flavorful bliss.
Say goodbye to boring chicken and hello to flavorful bliss.

When it comes to Southern Lemonade Chicken, the possibilities are endless. You can try different variations of this dish by tweaking the recipe with your preferred ingredients.

If you’re not a fan of chicken tenders, you can use chicken thighs or breasts instead. These cuts of meat provide plenty of juicy flavors and are perfect for marinating with the lemonade mixture.

For those who prefer a sweeter taste, you can experiment with the amount of brown sugar in the recipe. Try lessening it if you want a subtle hint of sweetness or adding more if you like it really sweet.

If you want to add more vegetables to your meal, consider adding green bell pepper, red bell pepper, snow pea pods, scallions, spring onions, or carrots. These vegetables provide an added crunch and texture to the dish. You can also consider making a side salad made with these veggies to create a perfectly balanced meal.

Additionally, for those who are health-conscious, you can substitute flour or cornstarch for almond flour or gluten-free flour. This way, even those who have dietary restrictions can still enjoy this recipe without worries.

Finally, if you want to switch up your preparation style, you can try oven-frying or grilling the chicken instead for a crispy and crunchy twist to your Southern Lemonade Chicken.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to substitutions and variations in this lemonade chicken recipe. Be bold and creative in experimenting with ingredients that suit your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 This Southern Lemonade Chicken is refreshment on a plate.
This Southern Lemonade Chicken is refreshment on a plate.

When it comes to serving and pairing this southern lemonade chicken recipe, there are many delicious options. One of my favorites is to serve it alongside a fresh green salad for a lighter meal. The tangy flavors of the lemonade chicken perfectly complement the crisp greens and provide a refreshing contrast.

If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, try pairing this dish with classic southern sides like cornbread, collard greens, or mashed sweet potatoes. These hearty dishes will help balance out the sweetness of the sauce and add some depth to your meal.

For a fun twist on traditional barbecue fare, serve this chicken recipe at your next cookout or picnic. Your guests will love the unique flavor combination, and the bright citrus flavors are sure to add some extra sunshine to your summer spread.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this lemonade chicken recipe is always a crowd pleaser. Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or an impressive entree to serve at your next gathering, this dish is sure to impress.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Pucker up for a meal that packs a punch.
Pucker up for a meal that packs a punch.

I believe in the power of preparation, and with this Southern Lemonade Chicken recipe, you can easily make ahead and store for future use or leftovers. To make ahead, simply prepare the chicken per instructions and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

If you have leftovers, do not fret as they can be stored for later consumption too. Place the chicken pieces in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for no more than four days. You can also freeze them by wrapping each piece tightly with plastic wrap and storing them in a freezer container for up to three months.

When reheating the chicken, it’s best to use an oven as it will help retain its crispiness. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

You may also reheat the Southern Lemonade Chicken using a microwave. Simply place the chicken pieces on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring there are some air vents. Microwave on medium heat for 45 seconds or until heated through.

Remember never to reheat cooked chicken more than once, doing so may put you at risk of food poisoning. Therefore, only reheat what you plan to eat.

With these storage and reheating tips, you’ll have fresh-tasting lemonade chicken whenever you want it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready to taste the sunshine with every tender and juicy bite.
Get ready to taste the sunshine with every tender and juicy bite.

Achieving the perfect southern-style lemonade chicken requires not only the right ingredients but also proper handling and cooking techniques. Here are some tips I have gathered to help you achieve superb results with this recipe:

1. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours

To infuse more flavor into the chicken, marinate it in the lemonade mixture for at least 2 hours before cooking. The acid in the lemon juice helps break down the proteins, making the meat even more tender.

2. Use a thermometer to check doneness

When cooking chicken, temperature is crucial. Use a meat thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165°F (75°C). Overcooked chicken can become dry and rubbery, while undercooked chicken can be unsafe to eat.

3. Don’t overcrowd the pan or slow cooker

When frying or sautéing chicken in a pan, avoid overcrowding it as this lowers the pan’s temperature and results in unevenly cooked chicken. Similarly, when using a slow cooker, make sure there’s enough space between each piece of chicken for even cooking.

4. Add vegetables to the mix

To make this recipe even better, add some sliced red and green bell peppers, snow peas, scallions, and carrots to complement the lemon flavors. This will also add color and texture to your dish.

5. Experiment with different types of breading

While flour is commonly used for breading fried chicken, you can also try other coatings such as cornstarch or seasoned breadcrumbs for a different texture and flavor profile.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make perfect southern-style lemonade chicken every time. Happy cooking!

Bottom Line

: In conclusion, this Southern Lemonade Chicken recipe is the perfect dish for those who crave a flavorful and zesty meal. Chef Chris Scott has truly done an excellent job of incorporating various ingredients into the recipe that results in a delicious and unforgettable taste.

It is important to note that this dish can be prepared using different cooking methods such as grilling, oven-frying and slow-cooking. Moreover, it can also be customized to suit one’s taste preferences by adjusting the seasoning or using different cuts of chicken.

So why not embrace the world of Southern-style cuisine and try out this Lemonade Chicken recipe today? Gathering together with friends and family while indulging in a delightful meal will undoubtedly create priceless memories that will last a lifetime. So go ahead and add “Southern Lemonade Chicken” to your list of must-try recipes today!

Southern Lemonade Chicken

Southern Lemonade Chicken Recipe

A sweet and sour chicken recipe that has the surprising ingredient of frozen lemonade concentrate. The sauce simmers in the crockpot and becomes mellow and delicious - not too lemony, just right!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 172.1 kcal


  • 4 -6 pieces chicken (I just cut up a whole chicken)
  • 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with garlic salt, black pepper
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or splenda)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Optional vegetables

  • 1/4 cup carrot, slices diagonal cut or ruffle cut
  • 1/4 cup scallions or 1/4 cup green spring onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup Chinese pea pods or 1/4 cup snow pea pods
  • 1/8 cup rings red bell pepper
  • 1/8 cup rings green bell pepper


  • Rinse pieces of chicken in water, then roll damp chicken into seasoned flour. Brown in fat in a heavy skillet. Remove chicken and place in crockpot. Combine lemonade concentrate, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar; mix well. Pour lemonade mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot and cover to keep hot. Transfer liquid to saucepan over medium-low heat. Skim fat; add optional vegetables, combine cornstarch and cold water and add slowly to liquid, while stirring. The sauce will be thickened after it reaches a full rolling boil, when thickened, serve the chicken along with hot cooked rice. The vegetables will still be crisp-tender.
  • It tastes a bit like sweet and sour chicken - always a hit with my 5 children - we double the recipe since we're a two chicken family now.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 144gCalories: 172.1kcalCarbohydrates: 42.4gProtein: 1.6gFat: 0.3gSodium: 136.8mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 30.4g
Keyword Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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