Friday, July 19, 2013

Thai Chicken Legs

I thieved this recipe from here, made it to spec and immediately made a bunch of changes to perfect it for me. This may have involved far more explosions than one expects with a chicken dinner.

Start off with:
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro stems
  • Alternative (1 teaspoon curry powder & 1 teaspoon garam marsala)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin removed, trimmed
Chop and dice up the garlic and dump it into a bowl. To that add the pepper, the cilantro (which is totally optional if you hate that mexican parsley), the alternatives if you have them, and the salt.
 Mash in the fish sauce and mix it all up together in a pastey kind of goo. I have no idea why the original recipe calls for the use of a food processor or mortar and pestle. It's rather pointless and kind of a waste of time.

Now measure out a 1/2 cup of coconut milk from the can you could find at the grocery store. This will leave a cup left, but save it. Use it later as a base for some minute rice, add a bit of curry powder and some bullion and you'll have awesome fake risotto.

Skinning chicken is a giant pain in the ass, but I learned a trick. Wrap a paper towel around the slippery subcutaneous fat and rip with all your might. The towel grabs onto it well and makes the whole thing way easier. I have nothing against fat, but as these are grilled, dripping oozing skin fat and open flames do not close friends make. Leave it on at your own risk.

Drop your chicken into the bowl of coconut milk goo:
I then like to drop them into a bag to help them suck in the juices.

Now for the biggest change to the original recipe, put them in the fridge for 8 hour or overnight to marinate. Their 1/2 to one hour does pretty much nothing. I'm not even sure why bothering.

Okay with the magic of the internet it's now 8 hours later. Crank your grill up to medium heat and toss those chicken babies onto it for 15-20 minutes.

Time to get down to the really tasty part, the sweet & spicy sauce.

For the two of us I cut the sauce in half because we don't need much.:
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pinches of salt
Get the rice vinegar to a boil (you will see time and colors so beautiful you'll weep for what can never be while this is happening, it's perfectly normal) and dump the sugar in stirring quickly so it will dissolve.

Now the original recipe says to let this simmer for 3-4 minutes but with the half recipe this is waaay too long and creates a sweet and spicy candy. I got for 1-2 minutes instead.

Add in the red pepper and garlic, let all that simmer for one more minute. Pull off the heat and add in the salt.

Ta da! Dipping Sauce:
 Put it all together and you have some flavorful grilled chicken legs and a sauce that's bread dippingly, get every drop delicious.

Also don't forget the rice, seriously, coconut milk rice.

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