20 December 2010

Lemongrass Chicken

Last year, Matt's aunt and uncle gave us the Williams-Sonoma Savoring Meat and Poultry cookbook.  It's one of those cookbooks that just makes you drool all over yourself while flipping through it, and when we got it we immediately started picking out recipes that we wanted to make.

And then we got lazy and couldn't find some of the ingredients and the cookbook ended up at the bottom of the stack. 

But in the last few weeks, we've rediscovered it, and since our Publix recently pimped out its ethnic food aisle, we decided to give it another whirl.

I'm so happy we did.  So far we've made three recipes from the cookbook, and they've all been really delicious.  And since we're in the middle of gluttonous fattastic month, sometimes it's nice to have a meal that's a little bit lighter.

So I give you Lemongrass Chicken.  It's spicy and it's flavorful and it tastes authentic.  And you'll fight over who gets to eat the leftovers.

Note: After handling jalapenos, refrain from touching your eyes or your face or from wiping your nose (which you should probably be doing anyway if you're making dinner).  I always forget to, and end up with a face afire.

Lemongrass Chicken (adapted from Savoring Meat & Poultry)

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Everything Else
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (we used breasts) cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 lemongrass stalks, tender midsection only, finely chopped (we used lemongrass paste stuff from the produce section)
1 green jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup julienned carrot (we used matchstick carrots from Publix)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon caramel syrup (below)**
1/4 cup chicken stock or water


1.  To make the marinade, in a large bowl, stir together the garlic, fish sauce, sugar, cornstarch, pepper, and the 1 tablespoon of begetable oil.  Mix well.  Add the chicken, toss to coat evenly, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2.  Preheat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass and stir-fry slowly until they turn a light gold and the shallots smell sweet, 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add the chicken with its marinade, the chile, bell pepper, and carrot and stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque and feels firm to the touch, 3-4 minutes.

4.  Add the fish sauce and caramel syrup and stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked, about 1 minute longer.  The sauce will be sticky, so add the chicken stock or water to dilute it, mixing well.  There should be only a little gravy left in the bottom of the pan.

5.  Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve immediately.

**Caramel Syrup.  To make the caramel syrup, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat; do not stir.  Swirl the pan to help dissolve the sugar clinging to the pan sides.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.  When the syrup turns a deep brown, remove from the heat and slowly pour in 1/4 cup hot water.  Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the caramel dissolves and is thick and syrupy, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Let cool, then store in a jar in a cool, dark place.  Makes 3/4 cup.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Also, I just got really excited that you and Joy have links to each other's blogs on your home pages. FRIENDS!



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