I have found THE marinade.
The marinade above all marinades, the one that will make your toes curl and your mouth do the happy dance. It adds flavor. Saltiness. Moisture. And, it's oh-so pretty.
This happened on a typical weekend day for me and the hubby. True to form, we'd gone for a run and come home to collapse on the couch. Normally, we grab something while we are out to eat (usually beer and pizza, ahem), but we had decided to come home instead. I have a habit of always asking the hubby what he wants me to make for dinner. He has a habit of telling me to make whatever. He's notoriously non-committal when I needle him for suggestions. Not that day.
"How about marinated chicken?" He asked. "We haven't done that in forever."
I thought about it. He was right, it'd been a loooooooong time. So, I pulled some thighs from the freezer and sat down with my old friend, the Internet, to find a marinade recipe. I put in "marinade for chicken thighs" and this recipe was one of the first to come up. I mean, it had the word "killer" in the title of the article. Who could pass that up?
First off, the recipe is called "Wedding Chicken". That should tell you something. That this marinade has been used on chicken served to a wide range and variety of people, and therefore, must appeal to the masses. I immediately loved that the recipe called for fresh chiles, fresh ginger, fresh thyme sprigs, and lemon slices. And I did the happy dance when I saw fish sauce in the ingredients.
If you've never heard of fish sauce, or worked with it before, well then, you are going to open a whole new cooking world. Fish sauce is an Asian condiment, and I cannot lie, it smells like death. I'm serious. It smells downright awful. There's no way for me to explain how it works. It goes from smelling like the underworld to Flavor Town once added to cooking. I've never been able to pick out "death" flavor in anything I've cooked with fish sauce. In fact, when the hubby and I first got married, we were roomies with a friend of mine from college. She was a notorious seafood hater. She hated the smell, the taste, everything about it. Then, I made her my Spicy Basil Chicken. Complete with a good tablespoon of fish sauce in the sauce. And she LOVED it. She raved about how good it was.
You should have seen her face when I told her what was in it. You should have seen her face when she smelled the bottle. I'm getting the giggles about it all over again.
Suffice it to say, fish sauce is one of those mysteries of the world that may never be solved.
I knew when I was reading about the marinade that it would make for pretty pictures :-)
I use the FoodSaver Quick Marinator for marinating. I've had it for years, and I love it. It's called a quick marinator because it marinates in half the time of normal by vacuuming all the oxygen out of the container. It's something about the pressure without all the oxygen that allows it to marinate that quickly. As in, 3 hours in the quick marinator is equivalent to 6 hours say in a ziplock bag. And I did marinate the chicken for 3 hours. It developed all the moisture and flavor that marinating overnight will get you.
We served the chicken with Jalapeño Corn with Brown Mustard Seeds, and husky cherry tomatoes straight from the garden. And of course, a cold beer. Widmer Hefeweizen to be exact. A perfect, early fall cookout.
Have a great weekend friends! I have no idea what we are going to be up to, but I'm sure the hubby and I will find something to get into. He's got the whole weekend off, woot woot!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
3/4 tbsp kosher salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1. In a large bowl, combine garlic through kosher salt. Whisk vigorously until well combined. Add lemon, thyme, jalapeños, and ginger. Stir to incorporate. Pour marinade into a large ziplock bag. Add chicken. Seal tightly.
2. Place ziplock bag in the fridge. Marinade for 6-8 hours, or overnight, turning bag occasionally.
3. Heat gas grill over high heat. When hot, turn outside burners to low and middle burner to medium.
4. Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Place chicken thighs over outside burners. Grill chicken for 4 minutes, with grill closed, then flip. Grill for another 4 minutes, grill closed, and flip again. Grill for another 2 minutes, lid closed, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove from grill, and allow to rest for 5-8 minutes. Serve immediately.
|Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.|
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