THAI GRILLED CHICKEN WITH CILANTRO DIPPING SAUCE
I recently had friends for dinner. I tried this recipe which I printed out from the Food & Wine on line newsletter. It was a hit. All wanted the recipe, so here it is — with a few modifications. This calls for jalapeno peppers which don’t exisit in France. I used two Moroccan hot peppers. Recipe serves four
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 Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon Asian seasame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lbs)
6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons water
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, seasame oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat with cilantro puree. Let marinate several hours.
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 remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add the minced garlic, chopped cilantro, red pepper flakes and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.