Khmer chicken


One of my all-time favourites. It is also delicious cooked on the barbeque. It will take about the same length of time. It is not necessary to marinate overnight if you forget, but at least an hour or two makes a big difference.

Khmer chicken

4 good-sized boned chicken thighs, without skin
1 tsp finely chopped lemon grass, soft inner part only
2cm/3/4 in piece fresh turmeric root, peeled and chopped
2cm/3/4 in piece fresh galangal, chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves or lime peel, chopped
5 garlic gloves, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
½ tbsp roasted peanuts
½ tbsp curry powder
½ tsp star anise powder (or grind your own in a pestle and mortar)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp  sugar or palm sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the marinade the day before by blending all the ingredients until you have a reasonably smooth paste. Rub all the chicken thighs with the marinade and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Next day, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and preheat the grill. Grill the chicken for a few minutes, turning the pieces several times until they are nicely browned all over. Or simply light the barbeque!

Put the grilled chicken on a rack in the preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until well browned. Alternatively place on the barbeque. And cook for 40-45 minutes watching to make sure it doesn’t burn. You could also griddle the chicken on top of the hob, making sure it doesn’t burn.

Serve hot. You can moisten the chicken thighs as you serve them either with any leftover marinade or by squeezing lots of lemon juice over them.

You can also serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce plus rice and Vicky’s veg or a salad – pomelo salad would be delicious

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