Cilantro stems get in the act in this recipe; they're pureed with the leaves, jalapenos, garlic, fish sauce and sesame oil to make a flavorful coating for grilled chicken. The dipping sauce, which also contains cilantro, is a classic Thai sweet-and-sour sauce. Or, for an alternative taste, try this Thai Peanut Sauce and others.
The rich, unctuous texture and pronounced fruity flavor of a dry gewurztraminer from France's Alsace region will provide a lovely contrast to these strong, spicy flavors.
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed
- 4 cloves garlic, 2 smashed, 2 minced
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds total)
- 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a blender or food processor, puree the jalapenos, smashed garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, the fish sauce, cooking oil, sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat it with the cilantro puree.
Grill the chicken over moderately high heat or broil it for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, in a small stainless-steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add the minced garlic, the 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, the red-pepper flakes and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
258 calories; 7g total fat; 93mg cholesterol; 1283mg sodium; 11g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 37g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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