This unusual and exotic presentation yields appetizer-size servings; for a main course, double the recipe and serve with rice. Lemongrass is a tall fibrous grass with lemony flavor; the best places to buy it fresh are at Southeast Asian markets.
Marinade and chicken
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 large limes)
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)
4 lemongrass stalks (about 9 inches long)
1-1/2 cups canned coconut milk
6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced lime zest
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
Place the coconut milk, lime juice, oil, cilantro, ginger; sugar, and garlic in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 3 strips and let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 hours. Remove the outer leaves of each stalk of lemongrass and cut the thinner end at an angle to make lemongrass skewers; set aside.
To prepare the sauce, place the coconut milk, peanut butter; sugar; soy sauce, onion, curry paste, garlic, lemongrass, vinegar; lime zest, cilantro, and basil in a large saucepan. Bring just to a simmer while stirring, but do not boil. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and strain the sauce before serving.
While the sauce is cooking, thread the marinated chicken strips onto the lemongrass skewers and grill over direct medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with the warm peanut sauce.
Omaha Steaks: Let's Grill
By John Harrisson with Frederick J. Simon
Clarkson Potter/Publishers, April 2001
128 pages, color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created May 2001
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