August 01, 2009
I love recipes that require marinating. Specifically, because I'm lazy...and marinating usually requires very little prep work :D It's also wonderful to come home from work to a practically pre-made dinner. Pop the marinated meat into the oven, and voila! -- dinner is ready. Not only does this make for a quick and easy supper, it also ensures that that your meat will be extra flavorful and moist since it's been marinating in sauces all day/night. It's all about the small investments, big returns.
This recipe was no exception. The marinade was easy, yet the combination of spices yielded a fresh, bold and complex flavor. Five-spice alone is fairly vibrant. But when paired with turmeric and freshly roasted star anise, the flavor becomes increasingly fragrant and explosive. I would highly recommend serving this dish with the Soy Lime Dipping Sauce that is supposed to accompany it. It offsets the chicken's "spicyness" perfectly with a bright and refreshing lime taste that has just the right amount of heat. I literally drowned every bite of chicken in it :)
Pair this with a simple green bean salad and white rice. The fluffy rice will soak up all the flavorful juices wonderfully.
Adapted from Epicurious, August 2001
Makes 4 servings
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 T vegetable oil
2 T soy sauce
3 T minced ginger
2 T minced garlic
2 T sugar
2 t ground turmeric
1 t Chinese five-spice powder
4 whole star anise, toasted and ground into fine powder
In a bowl, combine the oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, turmeric and five-spice powder. Stir well to blend. Add chicken pieces, coating them evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Broil the chicken for around 10 minutes, turning over occasionally. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce.
Soy Lime Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Epicurious, 2001
1 clove garlic. minced
2 fresh Thai bird chilies, minced
2 1/2 T sugar
1/3 C soy sauce
2 1/2 T fresh lime juice with pulp
1/4 C water
Combine the garlic, chilies and sugar together in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, lime juice and water. Stir until well blended.
Green Bean Salad with Cilantro and Soy-Glazed Almonds
Bon Appetit, 1996
1/4 C whole almonds
4 t soy sauce
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 T rice vinegar
1 t vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
2 T thinly sliced green onions
1/3 C fresh cilantro leaves
Stir almonds in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted. Add 3 t soy sauce and stir until soy sauce evaporates and coats almonds. Cool and chop.
Cook beans in a large pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, and remaining 1 t soy sauce in a large bowl to blend. Add green beans and toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle almonds, green onions and cilantro leaves over salad and serve.