Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chicken with Lemon Grass

When I first tried this dish, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting something spicier and more flavourful ... and the taste is just a bit mild. Granted, I substituted curry paste for chili paste, but I also upped it from 1 tsp to 1 tbsp, so you'd think it would balance out (Any ideas where to find chili paste in Mtl? It keeps hiding from me!) However, after trying this dish a day or so later (and having 2 co-workers taste it), I think it's blog worthy and tasty ... I just have to change the name from "hot and spicy chicken with lemon grass." I'm still waiting for a recipe from this cookbook to completely wow me. Hopefully that will happen soon!

Chicken with Lemon Grass (adapted from The Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking)

1 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced 1/4" thick and 1.5" long
3 tbsp vegetable oil
10 whole dried chilies
1/4 cup minced lemon grass (I used 3 lemon grass which was less)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp red curry paste (or 1 tsp ground chili paste if you can find it)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin wedges
1 cup julienned carrots
cooked rice

1. Combine cornstarch and water in a large mixing bowl. Add chicken, making sure it's well coated.
2. In a small pot of boiling water, blanch the carrots (cook for 2 - 5 minutes). Drain and shock in ice water.
3. Heat oil in a nonstick fry pan over low heat. Add the dried chilies and cook until they puff up, about 10 seconds. Remove, drain on paper towels, and set aside.
4. Increase heat to high and add lemon grass, garlic, sugar, and curry paste. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add chicken and stir to separate. Cook until chicken turns opaque, 3 - 4 minutes.
6. Add chicken stock, fish sauce, salt, onion, and carrots and continue cooking for 3 - 4 minutes.
7. Add reserved chilies and serve over rice.

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