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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thai Chicken and Salad with Rice and Caramelized Onions | You've Got Meal!

Sticky, full of flavor chicken/ Infused Thai rice/ Balsamic Caramelised Onions/ Thai salad with pears

 The most complicated thing about this recipe is actually coming up with the name – and what a fine job that was! This recipe lets shine that beautiful Thai combination of sweet, spicy and sour, each one of them underlined by one of the components:  the meat, the rice and onions and the salad. So this is how it goes!

For the meat:

·     1 piece of deboned breast (let’s say 400 grams) cut into equal pieces of about 3 cm,
·      the juice of 2 limes,
·      half a  thumb size ginger,
·     1 mighty powerful chili,
·      garlic (5-6 cloves),
·      honey (4 tbs.),
·      salt, pepper,
·      mint,
·      vegetable oil.

Quick note here: the idea is to get a spicy-sweet taste to the meat and we had a sublime chili jam (you can spell it confiture if you’re feeling French) that did exactly that. If you have such a thing (which is made of chili, sugar and vinegar, no spices) tone down the use of honey.

1.       Start of by making a marinade for the meat by mixing, well, everything in a bowl. Cover it and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour and then give the meat 20 minutes to get close to room temperature.
2.       Cook the meat (get rid of any excess marinade before cooking, otherwise the honey will burn fast) on medium high heat, in a few drops of vegetable oil, for 5 minutes on each side- you might need to cook the meat in batches.
3.       When all the pieces are done pop the remaining marinade in the pan, throw the chicken in there and coat it with the glazing marinade. Be careful not to burn the honey or whatever sugar you are using, shouldn’t be more than 2 minutes.
4.       Garnish with a couple of coriander leaves and you’re done with the meat.

For the rice and onions:

§  125 grams of Thai/Basmati rice (that’s enough for 2 people),
§  star anise, ginger, coriander stalks, salt, pepper,
§  400 grams of cleaned, small, red or yellow onions,
§  balsamic vinegar (4-6 tbs) and
§  sugar (1-2tbs.)

The idea here is that we are going to use the rice like a pretty neutral base (neutral in the Thai sense of the word) and we are going to bring a fantastic Italian touch with the “cipollini agrodolce” – sour and sweet onions.

1.       Infuse salted water with the star anise, some roughly cut pieces of ginger, coriander stalks (reserve the leaves) and pepper corns. Give 15 minutes for the water to really steal the flavors from the spices then cook the rice in it. A good idea is to either use the kind of rice that you can buy in a special cooking bag or use a tea satchel to keep the condiments in it.
2.       Meanwhile, boil the onions on medium heat for 20 minutes. Be careful when cleaning the onions, don’t cut too much out of the ends of the vegetable, you need that for them to stay intact while cooking, otherwise the layers will pretty much get loose.
3.       Remove the onions from water, let them steam for a minutes then cook them in a couple tbs. of olive oil, on medium low heat for another 10 minutes.
4.       Add the vinegar and sugar and mix well, to make sure that the cipollini are all covered in the sour and sweet goodness, shouldn’t take more than 3-4minutes.
5.       Plate the onions on top of the rice, with some of the cooking juice from the vegetables and some soy sauce for saltiness.

For the salad: roughly chopped iceberg salad, 2 carrots cut into strips with a veggie peeler, a medium red bell pepper cut into sticks, 3-4 tbs. coriander leaves, 1 pear also cut into strips with the veggie peeler, tiny, adorable, delicious and incredible cherry tomatoes (try and get as many colors as you can, it will bring a nice touch to the presentation), salt, pepper, lime juice.

1.       How to: just mix everything and you’re done. J

The idea behind the way we presented this (these) recipe(s) to you was that we started off with the sweet and we went from there to sweet & sour to just sour. All 3 components really stick together and the combination delivers a great dining experience that will make your day or bedazzle any friends that need reminding from time to time that you are a God in (your own ) kitchen. 


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