Monday, November 19, 2007

Indonesian Chicken

I'm a huge fan of year-round grilling. Come sun or come snow, you'll find me tending the grill at least a few times a month. I came across this recipe long before I ever had a grill and it sounded so enticing that I held onto it until we inherited a lovely grill two summers ago. Let me tell ya--it was well worth the wait! A flavorful, crispy outside and tender meat inside...mmmm, just kick those ordinary chicken recipes to the curb!

You might notice an ingredient in this recipe that you've never heard of:
fish sauce. This is a fermented sauce essential in many Asian dishes and you can find it at any local grocery store, in the Asian foods section. I'll give you some fair warning, though, that fish sauce has an extremely funky odor, not that far off from the smell of fermented gym shoes. However, the end result of this recipe will not taste like fish sauce!! You have to trust me on this one, when I first made it, I was a little hesitant, too, when I first inhaled the aroma of the fish sauce. But the other ingredients in the marinade balanced out the pungent odor and the resulting, finished product was a delightful dish that made me keep comin' back for more.

Suggested Menu:
Indonesian Chicken
Trader Joe's "Thai-Style Lime Pilaf"
(or any boxed rice pilaf, such as "Near East" brand)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Green Salad

Indonesian Chicken
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 2 T. rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 tsp. curry powder or turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 to 3 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (or cut-up fryer chicken)
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients until smooth. Place chicken in a 2 quart glass baking dish, or large resealable plastic bag, and pour marinade over the chicken. Turn chicken to coat it well. Cover dish, or seal bag, refridgerate at least 6 hours or ovenight.

Heat grill. When ready to grill, drain chicken, reserving marinade. Place chicken on gas grill over low heat or charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cook 45-60 minutes, or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear, turning once and brushing frequently with reserved marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.

**Tip--You can remove the skin from the chicken prior to marinating, however, I prefer to leave it on. By doing so, it keeps the chicken from overcooking and drying out. Also, I do not recommend substituting boneless chicken breast in this recipe. Bone-in chicken, again, helps keep the meat moist and the bone adds so much flavor. Plus, bone-in chicken is so much cheaper than boneless!

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