like I said, less than professional pictures
In the month or so between deciding to start this blog and actually doing so, I found this amazing recipe from Qlinart and even though I was trying to save my best recipes for blog time, I absolutely could not wait. I had just brought home a huge bunch of lemongrass from Jungle Jim's. Which, I have to mention is probably my ultimate grocery mecca. It's in Cincinatti and everytime we take a trip to see Benny's family in Ohio it is an absolutely mandatory stop. We also come home with way more speculaas, lemongrass, rambutan, krupuk, mongeese, and hot sauces than we can handle. (Not mention 3 for $10 tropical schnapps. Mango cocktail anyone?)
So.. oh right. So I couldn't wait to make this recipe. Today was my second time making it and it is getting better and better all the time.
-More to remind myself than anything, its important to remember to start the rice in the middle of this recipe so it is ready in time - I keep almost forgetting, until Benny reminds me
-If you've never cooked with fish sauce before, you should know that you really don't want to put any salt in this recipe, as the fish sauce is quite salty itself.
Serves 3-4 people.
Serves 3-4 people.
*I used 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts instead, and reduced the recipe to serve 2.
(* - My additions/changes)
6 boneless chicken upper thighs (skinless thighs can also be used)
3 garlic cloves finely minced
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped and crushed in mortar
2 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of sugar
* I added some grated ginger and diced shallots to the marinade as well
Lemon juice from a half a lemon
½ cup chicken stock (*We made our own vegetable stock for this, which works wonderfully)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
To accelerate cooking time, cut wide open the chicken upper thighs by making small 2 in. incisions inside the thighs
Mix garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce, pepper and sugar in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs, mix well with your hands or big spoon. Let it sit in marinade for about 30-40 minutes.
In a large shallow sauce pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot, add in the chicken thighs and let it sizzle for them to brown, about 1-2 minutes each side.
Lower the heat to low heat, add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Add more fish sauce to taste, if desired.
Again, this is optional, I like to add a final golden crisp look to the chicken by broiling the thighs in the oven for about 5 minutes.
Serve on a bed of fresh watercress or steamed white jasmine rice.
* I served it on a bed of sauteed garlic-y spinach with white rice
Sauteed Garlic Spinach:
Good Quality Olive Oil
Roughly 1 to 1.5 lbs Baby Spinach
3 - 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper to taste
1 small slice of butter
1 squeeze of half a lime or lemon
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, drizzle olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, but not until garlic is browned.
Add spinach, tossing to coat with garlic and oil (its going to cook down quite a lot so its best to add way more than you think you'll need). Season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook for 2 minutes on medium to low heat.
Uncover and raise heat to high, cook for one more minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Turn off the stove and add just a bit of butter and lime to taste.
Share and enjoy.