Thai cooks like to use the roots and stems of the cilantro plant, which have a more intense flavor than just using the leaves. In this recipe, cilantro roots and stems are added to a bright, zingy marinade for grilled chicken livers, which is, by the way, a very popular Thai street food. You can always find a guy by the side of the road cooking these skewers over a little charcoal grill. So now, you can try this amazing street food from the home fires of your grill.
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro roots or stems
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
1 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
In a mortar, coarsely crush the peppercorns. Add the cilantro roots, garlic clove and salt and pound to a paste. Scrape the paste into a large nonreactive bowl. Add the chicken livers and toss to coat. Stir in the fish sauce and soy sauce, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Light a grill. Thread the chicken livers onto four 10-inch metal skewers, leaving a bit of space between them. Grill the livers over moderate heat, turning once, until charred outside and still slightly pink within, about 4 minutes. If a well done liver is desired, grill for an additional 6 to 8 minutes. Serve right away.
Grill Master’s Notes:
Cilantro root is available at Asian supermarkets. If metal skewers are not available use wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes before using on an open flame to prevent burning.
Suggested Wine Pairing:
Lambrusco, the brisk, sparkling, signature red of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, is essentially designed as a palate-refresher for that region’s rich pastas and ragùs—which also makes it an ideal partner for these meaty grilled chicken livers