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Author Notes: I love how the bright green color of this dish reflects the spring ingredients it’s made with. The chicken’s spicy coating is rich with the perfumes of lemon, onion and ginger, underlaid with various chiles and cilantro, and finished off with a top coat of crunchy coconut. This is adapted from the inspiring work of Elizabeth Schneider Colchie. —LE BEC FIN
Makes: 1- 1/2 pounds chicken
1- 1/2 pounds
Chicken breast tenders, or breasts- boneless,skinless
Lemon Grass Stalk, edible portion
Fresh Ginger 2x1" piece, peeled and minced
Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
medium Jalapeno Peppers, seeded chopped
tablespoons Spring onion( bulbs only) or shallots- sliced
Cilantro Stems(leaves and stems), 8“long, washed, dried and chopped
teaspoon dried Red Chili flakes(no seeds)(or 1 dried red chile, seeded, chopped)
tablespoons kosher Salt
cup Canola Oil
tablespoons Thick Coconut milk (Caukoh is excellent- see photo)
cup sweetened coconut flakes,carefully dry pan- toasted til medium brown
- Cut lemon grass bulb and stem in 1 inch pieces. Combine with ginger, garlic, shallots, chili peppers, cilantro and salt in food processor or blender. Puree til fairly smooth; add oil and coconut milk. If storing, seal by covering with more oil .
- Pat chicken tender bottoms onto dish of paste. Place chicken in single layer in container with lid. Top tenders with remaining paste.Marinate 8-12 hours in frig(no longer or chicken will get mushy from all the tenderiziing elements that break down the protein fibers.) .
- Place chicken on an oiled sheet pan. Broil 4- 5 minutes, just until firm, and light pink juices show when pierced with a skewer. Before serving, coat top side of tenders with toasted coconut, pressing to adhere. Salt as needed.
- Note: Makes 3/4 Cup lemongrass paste. This paste freezes very well, so you may wish to multiply this recipe. The lemongrass and ginger are both powerful tenderizers and this paste also works well for tougher cuts of beef.
- Note: I keep wrapped lemongrass, ginger root and jalapenos in the freezer. Surprisingly, they last forever without losing their potency.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Alliums