Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken wih Pineapple Fried Rice

Remember how I said I was trying to use up odds and ends that had collected in my freezer?
Well I realized I had chopped lemongrass,  pineapple chunks, 2 containers of cooked rice and a container of homemade chicken stock lurking in there which was perfect for this delicious Thai inspired chicken and rice dinner.

I love exotic flavors so for me the remaining ingredients were standard pantry staples. I am lucky that my husband and kids are as adventurous with their food as I am, and we all really loved these dishes!

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken 
adapted from epicurious

1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 Tablespoons pureed lemongrass stalks (I found this in a tube in the produce section)
1 Tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Whisk 1/8 cup oil, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate overnight. 
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet (reserve marinade in bowl). Cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, add reserved marinade to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
Add 1/2 cup water, lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to skillet. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, spoon fat from surface, and strain pan juices into small pitcher. Serve chicken with pan juices.

Pineapple Fried Rice
adapted from here

Cooked rice (enough for 4 people)
Fresh  pineapple (cut into bite sized chunks)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
1 handful of roasted cashew nuts
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced finely
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp chicken stock (have more on hand in case your rice gets too dry)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste

Heat some vegetable oil in a wok. Scramble the egg and set aside.

Add a little more oil in wok. Fry garlic, chilli and shallots over low flame till fragrant. Add in rice, followed by the sauce. Fry and toss all the time over high heat. Add in scrambled egg, pineapple chunks and cashew nuts. Keep frying and tossing. Do a taste test - need more salt and/or pepper? Add them now.

When all ingredients are properly and thoroughly mixed, dish up the rice onto a serving plate.

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