Lemongrass-Cilantro Chicken

I am determined to try as many fresh, flavorful chicken dishes that I can find. Like you always hear, you can never have enough ways to prepare chicken. What I think everyone should have in their arsenal is at least three really great marinades that you can make easily and stick some chicken into before roasting or grilling, like this. You should also have one great recipe for cooking the whole bird like this one. And lastly, you should always cook a few extra pieces to have as leftovers you can cut up for a sandwich, wrap, throw in a salad, or just have for a snack. It is the best advice I can give you to stretch the time you already spent in the kitchen. This recipe had me at cilantro (which I know not everyone is a fan of and you could skip it or use flat leaf parsley instead) and lemongrass. You can find lemongrass by the fresh herbs in your market. It has amazing flavor and yes, tastes like lemons. I made the marinade for the chicken and the dipping sauce when I was cooking the day before. This way all you had to do was make some rice and grill the chicken the next day. Leftover chicken would be great in this salad and you could stretch this meal for lunch or dinner. If you are already cooking, think about what you could be making more of to turn into something else the next day. Honestly, it is every multitasking cook's secret weapon.

Lemongrass-Cilantro Chicken with Honey Dipping Sauce
Food & Wine Magazine, February 2011
serves 4

1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar ( I used rice vinegar)
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (in Asian food section of market, it does not taste like fish)
Salt and Pepper to taste

2 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 packed cup chopped cilantro
4 large shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 boneless chicken chicken breasts halves, with skin (I used skinless and just grilled as usual)
salt and pepper
1 cup mint leaves (I used cilantro instead)
lime wedges for serving

1. Make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and honey and cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and add the crushed red pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Add the vinegar and fish sauce and season with salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the chicken: Using the side of a chef's knife or rolling pin, bruise the pieces of lemongrass. Transfer to a large, shallow dish. Add the cilantro, shallots and oil and mix well. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature.

3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Scrape the marinade off the chicken breasts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill, skin side down, over moderately high heat until the skin is lightly charred and crisp, about 3 minutes. Move the chicken to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat to moderate and grill for 2 minutes longer. Turn the chicken and cook until white throughout about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Slice the chicken crosswise 1/3 inch thick and transfer to plates (I skipped this). Sprinkle the chicken with the mint leaves and serve with the lime wedges. Pass the dipping sauce at the table. Serve with rice.

Make Ahead: The hone dipping sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature.


1 comment:

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