Have some boneless, skinless chicken that needs a good flavor kick in the rear?? Tired of gnawing on blah, boring, bland baked chicken in an effort to stay healthy? Welcome, my friends, to the antitode to your common boring chicken routine!
You may have seen lemongrass in some previous posts, but let’s get to know our lemony friend a little better. Lemongrass is, surprise, a GRASS with an intensely herby, citrusy flavor and scent. It’s used a lot in South East Asian cooking for curries and soups to add a that bright citrus note into very savory dishes.
You can buy it fresh in big bunches like this:
This is great for soups and stews where you keep the stalk whole. But mincing this bad boy down is a PAIN!!! Luckily, someone had the clever idea to sell frozen minced lemongrass and this is an awesome product that makes it a lot easier to cook recipes requiring minced lemongrass!
You can spend hours and the tips of your fingers trying to mince those hard, resistant stalks down to the right fineness, or you can pop one of these guys in the microwave for 10 seconds and scoop out the amount you need!
But do be careful to not be lazy like me and hit the 1 min button and think you will remember to take the container out in time. This is what will happen:
Anyway, this little container of magic was shown to me by my mama, so you dont’ have to feel like you are cheating too much if you use it. It’s Cookie Mama approved!
So now that you know a lil bit more about lemongrass, on to the recipe! This is fast, flavorful dish that you can throw together in about 15-20 min after trudging home from work, gym, meetings, whatever. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face b/c it is so easy, healthy and tasty!
- 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (I used thighs, but breasts work as well)
- 4 TB minced lemongrass
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 1 medium onion
- 2 red chilis or 1 TB sambal olek chili sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar (white is ok too)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TB olive oil
I like to serve this with:
- 1-2 fresh cucumbers
1. Cut up the chicken into 1 inch pieces and place in a medium bowl.
2. Using a mortar & pestal grind together the lemongrass, salt, sugar, chilis. Feel free to cut out the spicy here if you don’t like spicy.
3. Dump this mix on the chicken and mix thoroughly to distribute. Let it marinate while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients.
4. Slice the ginger into matchsticks. Thinly slice the onion. Chop up the basil. Peel & chop the cucumbers if you are using them. Also start the rice cooker or your rice pot at this time.
5. Heat up a wok or non-stick pan to very hot. (Water droplet splashed on the pan should get zapped away instantly!) Add olive oil and it should smoke. Toss in the sliced ginger and stir quickly to cook for about 1 min.
6. Now toss in the chicken about 1 cup at a time so you can ensure you will get a good sear on all the chicken. Let the chicken sit still for about 2 min before you flip and stir a bit to cook. The sugar helps form a nice brown on the edges. Once the first batch is done (about 3-4 min), move the cooked chicken to a plate and continue with more batches until complete.
7. Once you’ve moved the last batch of chicken to the side plate, add a little more oil into the hot pan and add the onions. Stir to cook about 2 min and pick up any bits of chicken stuck in the pan. Then add the chicken back in the pan and cook another 3 min, stirring often. At this point, you may also want to cover the pan with a lid for the end to keep all the heat in. Check a piece of chicken to ensure it’s cooked through.
Love your chicken!
And it will love you back!