Friday, 27 March 2015

Thai Style Coconut Lemon Grass Chicken


It is no secret that I love Thai food. I haven't been to Thailand before and while it is on the list of places to visit, I have had many a meal at Thai restaurants in a few countries and I have sampled a lot of the staples. Thai food has that delicate balance of sweet, sour and spicy elements that when combined in the right ratios is food nirvana. While I might not be an expert in this cuisine, there are a few staples in Thai cuisine that are pretty common in these parts and can be used with everyday ingredients to evoke tastes of street food in Bangkok. These include: lemon grass, fish sauce and coconut milk.

Which brings me to this baked chicken dish. The beauty of this dish is its almost a hands off dish. The chicken sits in the marinade overnight and is baked till done. This means you can spend your time making a side to go with it: rice, couscous, acha, salad, stir fry ---- whatever rocks your world.

To make 8 pieces of chicken, you will need:
  • 8 pieces of chicken - I prefer bone in pieces like the thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 medium red onion - rough chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger. Peeled and chopped into little pieces
  • 2 lemon grass stalks- rough chopped
  • 3 green chilies - rough chopped (use as many or as few as you prefer) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Combine all the ingredients except the chicken and salt in a bowl with a secure lid
  • Stir to combine and taste. Season with salt to taste. Fish sauce is salty so you need to add salt last to be sure you do not over season
  • Add the chicken and ensure all pieces are covered with the marinade. Use a skewer to poke holes in the chicken to ensure even marinade.
  • Cover and marinade in the fridge over night
  • Preheat oven to 350F and line an oven proof dish with foil (this makes clean up a breeze)
  • Arrange chicken in a single layer and spoon some of the marinade over the chicken and bake till done - 25-30 minutes
  • Baste the chicken with the remaining marinade at least once during the cooking process
  • Serve with a side of your choice
There will be some marinade left in the baking pan after the chicken is ready. That is a simple pan sauce that you can reduce in a sauce pan and serve by the side of your meal to be used over the side you serve this chicken with.



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