Each summer seems to have a theme. There was the summer I made lots of Italian food, the summer I cooked a little from Julia Child's cookbook, the summer of Greek food. If there was a way to summarize this summer, it would have to be the summer of the fish sauce.
Our family loves fish sauce. All of us. We fell in love with it through Vietnamese food and have continued loving it all throughout Southern Asia.
This was the perfect grilling recipe for me, because there was no messing it up. The chicken gets charred on the grill and then cooked in the oven. I am comfortable with cooking chicken in an oven---the grill not so much.
We loved this recipe. I adapted the types of chicken parts used to fit our family---three leg quarters and half a split chicken breast made everyone happy.
Serves 4 -6
Thai Chicken with Dipping Sauce
adapted a bit from Food and Wine
1/4 c cilantro, finely chopped
2 T Asian fish sauce (I like 3 Crabs brand these days)
1 1/2 t black pepper
4 chicken leg quarters or any combination of leg quarters and breasts, skinned (but bone in)
1/2 t tamarind concentrate dissolved in 1 t water
1/4 c Asian fish sauce
2 T lime juice
2 t sugar
1 T water
1 small chile, seeded and minced (optional)
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c cilantro, 2 T fish sauce and black pepper (if you have a mini-food processor, you can use this instead). Coat the chicken with the cilantro fish sauce marinade and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
While the chicken marinates, light a grill and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 12 minutes or so. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until cooked.
While the chicken cooks, mix together the tamarind concentrated dissolved in water, 1/4 c fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, water and chile (if using). Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the dipping sauce. Serve with the chicken and brown rice.