香茅雞扒 Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Xao Sa)
It is often said that smell can have a significant impact on how food actually tastes. Lemongrass chicken, a popular Vietnamese dish, fully illustrates this concept. The fragrance of the lemongrass is similar to that of fresh lemon, hence the name. Lemongrass itself can be eaten directly, but the flavor is very light and so it is more commonly used in combination with other ingredients. In this recipe, we are mainly taking advantage the fragrance of lemongrass by using it as a marinate for chicken. The lemongrass fragrance in the kitchen was just as delightful as eating the chicken!
1 stalk fresh lemongrass (commonly found in Asian grocery markets)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece of ginger
2 hot peppers (adjust according to hotness desired)
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons corn starch
4 chicken fillets and 2 chicken legs
1. Combine first 8 ingredients in food processor and blend to a paste. If you do not have a food processor, finely chop all ingredients and mix together
2. Apply paste to chicken pieces. Add corn starch and mix thoroughly
3. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight
4. Take chicken out, and remove as much marinade as possible. The marinade will easily burn if cooked with the chicken!
5. In a heavy skillet, sear chicken pieces under high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce to medium heat, until chicken is cooked through.