Friday, June 3, 2011

Jungle Chicken

If you have never tried your hand at Thai cuisine, this dish provides a great introduction. The four key flavors are present: sweet, sour, citrus and spice. The ingredients are minimal and relatively easy to come by. And from first dice to serving plate the dish is ready in about 15-20 minutes.

adapted from The Everything Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Malott Kotylo

serves 2-3

The Ingredients:
2-4 serrano chilies, stems and seeds removed
1 stalk lemon grass, inner portion roughly chopped
2 (2 inch-long, 1/2 inch wide) strips of lime peel
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2-4 Tbsp fish sauce
10-15 basil leaves

The Process:
Place the chilies, lemongrass, and lime peel into a food processor and process until ground.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add the chili misture and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and cook for two minutes.

Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes

Reduce heat to low and add the fish sauce adn basil leaves to taste.

Serve with plenty of Jasmine rice.

The Review:
Summer. Sun. Fresh cut grass. This dish brought forth the essence of summer. The sauce was light, bright and citrus-y with the perfect amount of heat. I adored how quickly everything came together. Fifteen minutes over a hot skillet and dinner's done. To me, that makes an ideal summer dish. The only thing that seemed lacking were a few choice vegetables, but that is easy enough to rectify. The honey-ginger glazed carrots served on the side filled that veggie void.

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