Thai Grilled Chicken with crispy coconut rice
The newest how-to volume from Food Network star Bobby Flay pays homage to his incredibly popular competitive cooking show, “Beat Bobby Flay,” now starting its 29th season. The cookbook, “Beat Bobby Flay: Conquer the Kitchen with 100+ Battle-Tested Recipes” (Clarkson Potter, $32.50), offers tips for competitors and home cooks alike, with recipes such as this take on Southeast Asian grilled chicken.
The dish, Flay says in the book, originated in Laos, but it’s now a hot item at open-air markets across Thailand. “Garlic, ginger, chiles, lemongrass: all so fragrant and so flavorful,” he says. “I’m sure my version is not anywhere near authentic, but it tastes pretty good. This would be a great dish for an outdoor cocktail party.”
Thai Style Grilled Chicken
8 garlic cloves, chopped
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and pounded with the back of the knife
12 sprigs cilantro
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
1 Fresno chile, chopped
2 red Thai bird’s eye chiles, chopped
¼ cup canola oil
6 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2½ pounds total)
Crispy Rice (see recipe below)
3 limes, quartered
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)
Combine the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut milk, chiles, and oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Put the chicken in a large bowl, pour the marinade over and toss well to make sure all the thighs are coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Set a wire rack over a sheet pan.
Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until smoking. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the pan, skin-side down. Cook until the fat renders and the skin becomes crispy about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to the wire rack and roast in the oven until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
To serve, slice the thighs lengthwise in half and skewer each half if desired. Put the rice in bowls, top with the skewered chicken and squeeze lime juice over. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
1 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
1 fresh Thai chile, finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, chile, and chives until combined. Let sit for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld.
13.5-ounce can unsweeten full-fat coconut milk, stirred well
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Carolina long-grain rice
½ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
¼ cup canola oil
Combine the coconut milk, 1½ cups water, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Spread the rice in an even layer over a large sheet pan and let cool completely for about 30 minutes. The rice can be made up to 24 hours in advance; store it on the sheet pan, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. (In fact, you will get better results if you make the rice the night before.)
Combine the rice and scallions in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the rice and, using a heavy-duty metal spatula, immediately press the rice down into the pan until the top is flat. Cook, without stirring, until the bottom becomes golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes (start checking at 4 minutes, making sure not to burn it).
Turn the rice over and press down firmly on the top again. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with more scallions, and serve.
— Reprinted with permission from Beat Bobby Flay. Copyright © 2021 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.