Thai Citrus Chicken Recipe

One of my favorite Thai restaurants, S & L Thai in Fairfield, California, makes this wonderful Citrus Chicken dish.  This dish is one of their signature dishes so you probably won’t find it any other Thai Restaurant.

Since I am nearly 3 hours away from Fairfield, CA, I had to try my hand at copying the Thai Citrus Chicken recipe.  The chicken was simple to prepare; it was the “secret sauce” I had to try and reinvent.  With the help of my younger daughter, (she has quite the taste buds) we came pretty darn close to getting that “secret sauce” down.

Thai Citrus Chicken


  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 Cup Panko bread crumbs (Japanese style found in Asian section of grocery store)
  • 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1 Egg scrambled
  • Oil enough to cover bottom of skillet and about 1/4 of the way up
  • 2 Cups Chopped Kale, ribs removed (optional)

For Citrus Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Mayo
  • 1-2 Tbs. Sugar
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon


On separate dishes, lay out flour, egg and panko bread crumbs.  Dip chicken lightly in flour, then egg, then panko, in that order, set aside.  Heat oil in large skillet under medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, not smoking, place prepared chicken in skillet and fry until golden brown and cooked thoroughly, turning once, about 4-6 minutes a side.  Reduce heat if necessary as to not burn the breading.  Let stand and prepare Citrus Sauce below:

In a small saucepan, stir in mayo and sugar, heat under med-low just until warm and slightly bubbly, remove from heat, mix in juice of 1 lime and 1/2 lemon.  IMPORTANT:  Don’t overheat the mayo and sugar or the oil will separate and no longer have a creamy texture.

Slice chicken in 1″ strips, drizzle with Citrus Sauce, serve over rice.

Optional:  Bake chopped kale in oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.  Add sliced chicken on the bed of baked kale, drizzle with Citrus Sauce.

This is a simple and yummy dish, I know everyone will enjoy!

For more Thai food cooking, check out this book: Thai Food And Cooking

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19 Responses to Thai Citrus Chicken Recipe

  1. Cookie says:

    Great dish! Tastes just like S and L

  2. Teri says:

    S&L Thai was our Grandpa’s absolute favorite place to eat — he took us there whenever we visited from Seattle. He passed in 2004, but we still crave this citrus chicken every now and again. Once when we were in the area, we stopped in hoping to have lunch there, but it was a Monday and they were closed. I can NOT wait to try this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it…

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Hi Teri! So sorry to hear about your Grandpa :( . I, too, know how it is to lose a loved one as I lost my mom in 2008. She was an awesome cook and was inspired by her. When we would go out to restaurants she would always say, “I can make that” and she could copy it just from tasting. So I decided to try my hand in it. I live a few hours away and there are no Thai restaurants that make Citrus Chicken. Please let me know how it turns out when you make this dish!

  3. Maggie says:

    Oh my goodness this looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it! So many great recipes you have posted, I look forward to cooking them. Thank you!

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. This is one of my favorite Thai dishes from Fairfield. Had to figure out how to make this since I can’t just hop on over there. I haven’t put any updates to the site, I plan on modifying the site.

      Enjoy the recipes. :)

  4. Diana says:

    omg! I lived in Fairfield for the past 15 years and just recently moved to Las Vegas. I LOVE S&L’s citrus chicken and yes, you are correct, that dish cannot be found anywhere else…I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find something close to their secret sauce. I cannot wait to try this out…thanks so much for sharing. Kudos to your little chef there… :)

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Hi Diana. Thanks for the comment, please come back and comment after you make it. I hope it came pretty close. Kids love this dish!

  5. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I lived in Fairfield for several years but moved to Illinois about 10 years ago and I have missed my S&L Thai citrus chicken!!!

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Hi Jessica, thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it! I hope you find this recipe pretty darn close! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  6. Jessica says:

    I made this for dinner tonight, loved it! Just like S&L’s, and my husband loved it too! Only thing missing was a side of S&L’s garlic mini ribs:)

    • JOC Reviews says:

      So glad you and your hubby enjoyed it! I know, I miss the garlic ribs too! I actually have the recipe for their Pad Thai. It was printed in the Daily Republic many many years ago. Check it out:

  7. mark russell says:

    Hey I make this too, but one ingredient you left out in the “secret sauce” is crushed garlic about a teaspoon, this helps the flavor to sit on the back of your tongue. I have been going to S&L for 24 years.

  8. T P Jones says:

    You are awesome!!! I am gonna try out this recipe. If it is anything close to the restaurants chicken. I won’t have to drive all the way to Fairfield anymore!!!

  9. Sparky says:

    Holy frig. We moved away from Fairfield in 2003 and for 10 years I have been trying to recreate this sauce. I was in Fairfield recently and looked up an old friend whose mother used to take us to S&L and we went (did you know they moved? They’re on N Texas now, not across from Armijo anymore) and of course I got the citrus chicken. I took the leftovers home and as I licked the last of the sauce from my finger I decided to try again to Google citrus sauce recipes and SOMEHOW found this blog this time. THANK YOU, I will try this soon!

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Thanks Sparky! Hope you like this version! Please let me know how it turns out for you. Btw, yes, I know they moved….I still have family in Fairfield.

  10. KellyBunny says:

    OK, so I just CRIED when I found this. Actual tears. When I was in the Air Force, I was stationed at Travis AFB, and this was my favorite place to do lunch. I always get jealous when friends of mine still living there say they’re going to S & L. I live in Philadelphia now, and there really is NOTHING close to this. I can’t wait to try making this tomorrow!!!

    • JOC Reviews says:

      Awwe…so glad you found this recipe and hope you enjoy it! I was actually thinking of making it today. Please let me know how it comes out for you. – Jennifer

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