Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Productive Day in the Kitchen

Today I started bright and early making scones with Sonny. To be honest, I was nervous about this activity. We’d been talking about making scones since he had his first one last week. Every morning he’d wake up asking if it was the day to make scones. He was so patient all week and I was worried we’d end up with rock-hard-dry-ass lumps. Fortunately, they turned out great. I used this recipe and followed it exactly (except for the dry fruit part; Sonny wanted chocolate chips so I let him put some on a couple of them). The taste reminded me a little of shortbread, but they weren’t overly sweet and they were buttery without feeling greasy.

After lunch I made a batch of Vietnamese lemongrass chili sauce, the recipe for which I got at Wandering Chopsticks. Holy shit is it good! Even while it was cooking, I could tell it was going to kick ass because the aroma was divine. And it was far easier than I expected. I didn’t bother with canning it. Instead I just poured it into a sterilized jar and put a layer of oil over. I think it should keep for a couple of months in the fridge.

For dinner we had oven-roasted lemongrass chicken with nuoc cham (I add shredded carrot or sometimes jicama to mine) and the lemongrass chili sauce I made. Luckily, I got a quick shot of the chicken because there was none left over to “stage”. I can’t wait until the weather is nice enough to grill. This chicken is good in the oven but it will be downright orgasmic on the grill.

There are a ton of recipes out there for lemongrass chicken, but I just kept it simple. You could certainly add ginger and I’ve even seen recipes that call for sesame oil. It’s your call with the embellishments.

Simple Lemongrass Chicken
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup thin or mushroom soy sauce (but regular old Kikkoman is fine too)
  • ¼ cup Thai oyster sauce (Chinese will work too)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces (or 6 to 8 hindquarters)
The easiest way to make the marinade is to throw the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you get a uniform mixture. Sometimes, just for the hell of it, I will pound the herbs in a mortar then mix the paste with the wet ingredients in a bowl. I leave this up to you.

Marinate the chicken overnight. An hour before roasting or grilling, let the chicken sit at room temperature to take the chill off. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 375˚ pre-heated oven until done. Keep in mind that the different pieces will cook at different rates. If you decide to grill, do it over indirect heat until done. Serve with nouc cham, steamed rice and sliced cucumber and tomatoes.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Hi DP,
Thanks for trying out my recipe. I'm so glad you liked it. I actually just made another wok-full this weekend. It's already gone actually since so many people wanted some. It's great slathered over fish and then grilled too.

The fish sauce, salt, and oil helps to preserve it so the sauce can last for months and months.

Manggy said...

Whoa! If that's how it is roasted and you say it's orgasmic grilled, I can't imagine how much better it would look! Do you think it would go great with the lemongrass chili sauce as well? It looks intriguing!

I like having chicken with hoisin sauce or plum sauce (me likes the sweet sauces)

tigerfish said...

So much being accomplished! Take a bow! I wish I could make the chili too but I can't get lemongrass easily here! :O

dp said...

wandering chopsticks: this sauce won't be around for months and months! I might have to make more in like 2 weeks!

manggy: the chicken was made to eat with the lemongrass chili sauce! As for sweetness, the nouc cham dipping sauce has some of that and I think you'd like it.

tigerfish: if you find lemongrass, you really should try this sauce. I just had it on fried eggs with a squirt of fish sauce and I don't think I can eat fried eggs any other way every again! LOL

Anonymous said...

Sounds very delicious. I myself would have a side of Sambal to accompany the chicken. I love heat. By the way, nice details on the method of preparation for the chicken.

SteamyKitchen said...

wow, looks like it's perfectly roasted. I'm coming to your house for dinner!

Anonymous said...

This looks SO delicious. I have to go and eat a boring sandwich now. No fair!