Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken

My husband likes to barbecue so one Father's Day I bought him an electric barbecue grill thinking he would like to use it during the winter months -- he didn't.  I really like the grill and am happy for any excuse to pull it out of storage so I was tickled to see a recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Chicken in The Essential Eating Well Cookbook.

I love Vietnamese food -- sweet, salty, spicy -- so yummy (probably why I love Thai food too).  This recipe is delicious!  The family loved it!  Unfortunately I couldn't find any papaya so I didn't make the relish.  I served the chicken with jasmine rice, and a pineapple salad using the relish recipe minus the garlic (and of course the papaya).  And I substituted the chicken leg with chicken thighs -- pretty sure nobody minded.

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken
The Essential Eating Well Cookbook
Yield:  4 servings

1/4 cup lime juice (2limes)
2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
4 bone-in chicken legs (about 2 1/2 pounds total) skim and fat removed, cut in half through the joint
1 1/2 cups Papaya Relish (recipe follows)

1.  Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, peppers, sugar and oil in a small bowl.  Pour about half of this marinade into a shallow glass dish and reserve the remainder for basting.  Add chicken pieces to the dish and turn to coat.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally.
2.  Meanwhile, make Papaya Relish.  Preheat grill to medium-high.
3.  Oil the grill rack.  Grill the chicken, covered, turning several times and basting the browned sides with the reserved marinade, until well browned but not charred, and no longer pink inside, 20 to 30 minutes.  Serve with Papaya Relish.

Per serving:  253 calories; 9g fat; 89mg cholesterol; 15g carbohydrate; 27g protein; 1g fiber, 606 mg sodium.

Papaya Relish
Yield approximately 1 1/2 cups

2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp hot sauce such as sambal olek or Tabasco
1 firm papaya, peeled, seeded and diced (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

With the side of a chef's knife, mash garlic with salt.  Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in vinegar, sugar and hot sauce.  Add papaya, onion and cilantro; toss gently to mix.   Best served shortly after it is prepared.

Per 1/3 cup serving:  43 calories; 0g fat; 0mg cholesterol; 11g carbohydrate; 1g protein; 1g fiber; 254mg sodium.

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