Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust

This recipe is really flavorful and healthy.  I used chicken breast tenders because it's what I had on hand.  I hadn't used lemongrass before, so I watched a few videos that explained how to properly chop it.  This one was the best.

Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems) 
3/4 cup coconut milk 
1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass (from about 2 stalks) 
12 fresh basil leaves 
3 Thai bird chiles, 2 jalapeños, or 2 medium serranos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt 
2 tsp. packed light brown sugar 
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
3/4 tsp. ground coriander 
12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 to 5-1/2 lb.), trimmed (remove the tenderloins if still attached) 
2 limes, cut into wedges for serving

Combine 1-1/4 cups of the cilantro with the coconut milk, lemongrass, basil, chiles, garlic, salt, brown sugar, pepper, and coriander in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Arrange the chicken breasts in a nonreactive baking dish or other vessel large enough to accommodate them in a snug single layer. Pour the marinade over the breasts and turn to coat them well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Grill the chicken (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken (cover a gas grill) and continue to cook until firm to the touch and completely cooked through (check by making a slice into one of the thicker breasts), 5 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

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