Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Asian-Style Grilled Chicken

Although this dish seems simple, it's very flavorful. The Buddhist religion so popular among Asian cultures emphasizes balance - the yin and yang - and this dish is no exception. We've got salty and sweet, spicy and tangy all in one dish. One might say that it is culinary nirvana*!

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced fine or pressed in a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons chili sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (red, white, or cider vinegar would also do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Combine soy sauce, garlic, chili oil, vinegar, and pepper in a small baking dish (one big enough to hold all the chicken). Add the chicken, making sure the mixture coats both sides of all the pieces.
Let stand at room temperature while the grill heats up, about 30 minutes. If not all the chicken is completely submerged, turn the pieces over halfway through the marinading time.

Meanwhile, whisk together the honey and lime juice, set aside.
When the grill is ready, place the chicken over direct heat. Grill, covered, about 5 minutes. Flip and brush the honey mixture onto the cooked side. Cook another 5 minutes, brushing on about half the honey mixture over two or three bastings. Flip the chicken back to the first side and brush on the remaining honey mixture over two or three bastings. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at 150-160 degrees, or until the juices run clear. Serve with jasmine rice and stir-fried oriental vegetables.

Note & Preview: If you save one of the chicken breasts, you will be able to make Friday's recipe - Asian Chicken Panini!

* I have the greatest respect for the Buddhist religion - I do not intend to mock, trivialize, or denigrate their beliefs in any way.

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