Thai Lemongrass Chicken

It’s official, well it’s been official, it’s finally grilling season in Wisconsin. Not that I haven’t been grilling all year long, but the weather is finally getting a lot more nice in Wisconsin. So this past Mother’s day weekend was full of cooking for my loved one(s). As we progressed into the weekend, I decided to use up a bag of frozen lemongrass I had. I’m trying to purge my freezer and use up lots of yummy leftovers. As I was thinking of what to make with the lemongrass (I always have Thai on my mind when it comes to lemongrass), I decided on making a lemongrass infused oil, and use that for grilling a spatchcocked whole chicken. The lemongrass infused oil was phenomenal, but a simple marinade was also created to make this Thai lemongrass chicken even better.

Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe
Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.

Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients
Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.

Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass and garlic. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.

Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.

Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Thai Lemongrass Chicken

Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

The end result is really, really great chicken. You are left with not only a garlic flavored chicken, but one that has the subtle hints of a lemon-lime and ginger flavor from the awesome lemongrass infused oil. It was a hit, and a great start to the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.
  3. To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.
  4. Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.
  5. Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.
  6. Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.
  7. Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

 

Mexican Alambre

You know when you have that craving for tacos, or better yet fajitas? Yeah, I know, I pretty much have that craving all of the time! This dish, known as alambre, is a popular Mexican dish that should be on everyone’s menu, but is not. This Mexican alambre is a mix of beef, bacon, peppers, and cheese, topped with avocados and limes, only to be folded into nicely grilled flour tortillas. This feeds an army and is packed full of awesome flavors and textures, that I’m positive will have you making this more than once.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Alambre, in Spanish, literally translates to ‘wire’ and I suspect that it could be due to the fact that meats and vegetables were skewered and grilled before getting chopped up and folded into tacos. Regardless, I simply throw things on the grill to get a nice char before slicing and serving.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon,  cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional

Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.

To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree.  Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

Mexican Alambre
Mexican Alambre

When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)

Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.

While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.

Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.

Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.

Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!

Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.

Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.

Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

This was a great meal to serve at the table. The kids loved the interactivity (and the rocking flavors), and it was a great conversation piece. My oldest, who typically does not like melted cheese (especially on tacos), nor peppers, was spooning this into about 4 tacos. I think he loved this Mexican alambre, and I’m certain you will to! Enjoy.

Mexican Alambre
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.
  2. To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree. Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
  3. When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)
  4. Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.
  5. While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about ¼ cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.
  6. Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.
  7. Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.
  8. Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!
  9. Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.
  10. Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.
  11. Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.
  12. Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

 

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken

For some time now, gochujang has been one of my favorite condiments. There is something about it, whether that combination of sweet, spicy, or savory, but whatever it is gochujang has got it going on. I have used gochujang in a couple of different recipes including Korean style zucchini as well as some Korean style quick pickles, both of which were delicious, but not it was time to try to incorporate the gochujang into a chicken marinade and see how it would turn out. Actually, I knew how it was going to turn out, and I was right, it turned out pretty awesome.

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe
Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional

Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.

Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.

Gochujang Chicken
Gochujang Chicken

Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.

Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.

During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.

Now it is time to serve.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.

Serve and with rice. My kids totally loved these. They are typically not fans of thighs like I am, but that told me something, and that something was most likely that awesome gochujang marinade. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Korean Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.
  4. Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.
  7. Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  8. During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.
  9. Now it is time to serve.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.
  11. Serve and with rice.

 

Salsa Macha

Salsa macha may not be something you have heard of before, but trust me it is such an unusual and awesome salsa that it’s texture alone will have you wondering. Salsa macha is unlike your common red or green salsa that you may have come to know, and typically referred to as ‘macha’, the feminine version of ‘macho’, this one lives up to its name. It’s bold, unique, and strong in every way.

Salsa macha is a blend of chilies, oil, and nuts, and is just crazy out of this world. I’ve been stirring this up and drizzling over morning omelettes, and dipping warm tortillas in it. It reminds me of a red chili sauce I made a couple of years ago, but a bit different in terms of the chilies that are involved.

Salsa Macha Recipe
Salsa Macha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.

Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.

How to make salsa macha
How to make salsa macha

Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.

Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!

Salsa Macha
Author: 
Recipe type: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup of pecans
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.
  2. Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.
  4. Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!