Weekly Winner: A Delicously Drippy Dinner Duo

As a rule, I don’t like messy.  I’ve always been a tidy person.  Even as a child you would never find me outside making mud pies or playing in the dirt.  It was definitely more in my nature to run inside panicked if there was the slightest bit of dirt on my hands.

thai chickenHowever as an adult I’ve discovered that sometimes, in order to eat really well, you have to get messy.  Last night’s dinner was no exception.  Sticky, drippy chicken that just begged to be picked up with your hands.  All fabulous.  Even the side dish was a bit “unkempt” and saucy.  It went so amazingly well with the chicken that I’ve included both recipes — yes, for a limited time only, you lucky readers get TWO recipes for the price of one!!

The chicken recipe comes from Eating Well Magazine.  In the spirit of full disclosure, their original recipe called for removing the skin from the chicken.  Really?? Thighs and drumsticks on the grill?  Stripped of their luscious, crispy skin?  I think not!  Also, I realize that the dipping sauce did not make it in the picture.  Do not leave this out … it is zingy and sticky and wonderful (and adds to the messiness factor!)  The green bean recipe comes from Fine Cooking.  I’ve made these beans a bunch of times but last night they seemed exceptionally good.  I think it was the combination with the chicken.  In any event, when you start off with “Fine Cooking” it will inevitably lead to “Eating Well” … if not also a bit messy.  But as I’m slowly learning, sometimes messy is good.  And tasty!

Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs (about 12 pieces), trimmed

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. To prepare chicken: Combine garlic cloves, pepper, cilantro stems and pinch of salt in a large mortar or food processor or food mill and mash or pulse to a coarse paste. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in fish sauce and coconut milk. Add chicken and stir to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate, loosely covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. To prepare sauce: Heat vinegar to a boil in a small nonreactive pan. Add sugar, stir to dissolve it, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and minced garlic; simmer for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in salt. Pour into a serving bowl and let cool to room temperature before serving.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade. (Discard marinade.) Oil the grill rack Grill, turning occasionally, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching bone registers 165°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Serve the chicken with the dipping sauce.

Chinese Restaurant-Style Sautéed Green Beans

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

12 oz green beans, trimmed

Kosher salt

1 Tbsp minced garlic

Directions:

Combine the soy sauce, honey, and 1 Tbs. water in a small dish and set near the stove. Set a shallow serving dish near the stove, too.

In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the green beans and 1/2 tsp. salt and toss with tongs to coat well. Cook, turning the beans occasionally, until most are well browned, shrunken, and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. (The butter in the pan will have turned dark brown.)

Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Carefully add the soy mixture (you’ll need to scrape the honey into the pan). Cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces to a glazey consistency that coats the beans, 30 to 45 seconds.

Immediately transfer the beans to the serving dish, scraping the pan with the spatula to get all of the garlicky sauce. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve warm.

 

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