Thursday, August 30, 2007

Grilled Chicken with Asian Dipping Sauce

I found this recipe in a special edition of Fine Cooking magazine entitled Fresh (spring/summer 2007). Along with 70 other recipes centred on the freshness of spring and summer ingredients, I found a very simple recipe for grilled chicken with an Asian dipping sauce. Though the dipping sauce and the recipe are nothing original, they make for a nice, easily prepared meal that doesn't require you to hunt down obscure ingredients in all of the specialized grocery stores in town.

I don't think it useful to give the recipe for grilling chicken on the barbecue. Trim fat off chicken breasts, season, and cook till ready. The one thing that is always necessary to stress is that anything on the grill should be given time to cook. That is to say that you shouldn't crank your barbecue up to high all the time. A nice medium heat and your chicken will come out tender and juicy instead of charred and dry...the latter is my father's kind of cooking. Not recommended.

As for the dipping sauce, it's mellow and the recipe makes enough sauce to serve 6 or so people. You could always use the leftovers for a stirfry. To give it an extra kick, you might want to add some red chili paste. But as it stands, this recipe is nice and simple.

Asian Dipping Sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 to 2 serrano or jalapeno chilies, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tbs chopped green onion (scallion)
2 tbs. choppped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbs chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup water; as needed

1. Finely chop garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkly 1 tbs of the sugar over the garlic and mash garlic into sugar using the backside of knife while pressing down on it with your palm. Scrape the garlic sugar paste into a medium bowl.
2. Add remaining 3 tbs sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
3. Stir in chiles, scallions, cilantro, mint, peanuts, and enough water to creat a mellow but zesty sauce.
4. Serve in individual bowls along with grilled chicken.
5. Dip and enjoy.

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