Good morning, y’all! It is a nice cold morning here in beautiful Wattle Grove, Tasmania. About 8 degree Celsius for a summer morning in early February! Just 2 days ago, it was a hot 32 degree Celsius.
I had a day off yesterday. This coming Monday is a public holiday – Hobart Regatta Day. So, a nice long 4 days weekend for me! I went and bought 2 free range whole chicken, basils and a bunch of spring onions yesterday. I was inspired by a fellow food blogger who lives in America. I frequently check his blog here. I was interested in his latest recipes on Lao Grilled Lemongrass Spicy Chicken and the simple technique of making an appetizing “Lao Jeow”.
When I got home yesterday with my little grocery. I removed the other ingredients from my refrigerator and cupboards – onions, chilies, garlic, eggplant, turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, sea salt, fish sauce, a lime, . Went into my garden – got 2 stalks of lemongrass and some tomatoes. Placed everything on the kitchen bench.
The two free range chickens – one was poached for stock and chicken rice. See my earlier post here. The other chicken I cut into 12 smaller pieces with skins and bones intact. Half of them I marinated for grilled spicy chicken. The other half I marinated for ayam goreng, also featured in an earlier post here.
I followed the cooking technique of Mr Dallas’s Lao grilled chicken, but invented my own version to give it a slight Malaysian twist.
First, I chopped 2 lemongrass stalks (from my garden), 3 small onions (from my garden) and 4 cloves of garlic. Placed the chopped ingredients in a mortar and pestle.
Pounded into a medium coarse texture. Added 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder. Then gently pounded the dry and wet ingredients together into a nice consistency texture.
Marinated chicken pieces with the spice pastes and leave in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, until ready to cook.
When ready to cook, removed the marinated chicken pieces from the refrigerator. Placed on a tray and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. I grilled the chicken at 200 degree for 30 minutes. My partner thought it was a bit too long. So next time I will grill for a shorter period.
I made a vegetarian spicy salad type dish to accompany the grilled chicken. Again, I adopted Mr Dallas cooking technique in making his traditional Lao Jeow, gave it a bit of Salsa twist because of the ingredients available to me at the time.
I chopped about 8 stalks of spring onions into halves and used the bottom sections, 1 red onion into halves, threw in a bunch of chilies (a mix of homegrown red, green and yellow that I have frozen in the chilled compartment from last summer), and eggplants sliced lengthwise. Placed all the ingredients in a tray and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Oh, then I decided to add some homegrown tomatoes! Last minute decision. Do you do that as well? Like thinking to yourself, and then decide to add another ingredient just to see how that affect the outcome of your creation.
Grilled the tray of fresh ingredients in the oven with a temperature of 200 degree for 15 minutes. Maybe I should have grilled a bit longer for a more dryer texture and grilled flavour.
Cut the grilled ingredients into smaller sections. Placed in mortar and pestle and pound all ingredients coarsely, except grilled eggplant. The eggplants I shredded the flesh from skin. Then chopped skins into smaller bite pieces. Set the eggplants in a big bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeezed of one fresh lime. Mixed well into the ingredients. Removed into the big bowl of chopped eggplants. Mixed through. It is now ready to serve.
Yes, dinner is almost ready. Just need to be plated.
Here it is. Grilled Spicy Chicken with Spiced eggplant Salsa garnished with finely sliced sweet basil leaves and Steamed Jasmine Rice.
The grilled chicken was aromatic with a nice crispy crunch on the skin filled with lemongrass flavour. The meat inside was tender and moist. The eggplant salsa had a nice texture with interesting mixture of flavours.
We both enjoyed the meal. Thanks, Mr Dallas for the inspiration.
So, if you are looking for something to cook this weekend. Why not try the above recipes. You will enjoy them as much as we did.
Happy eating. 🙂