Thai Chicken with Hot Sour Salty Sweet Sauce

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I love the taste of cilantro. and right now, there is an abundance of it growing in the garden in by back yard. It is one of those herbs that pairs well with chicken, beef, or fish and you will find it as a major ingredient in Latin and Asian cuisines.

“Thailand is condiment heaven, with a gazillion sauces. This northern Thai-style one is extra-sour, because it uses both tamarind and lime,”–Naomi Duguid.

Adapted from Chef and Author, Naomi Duguid
Food and Wine Magazine, May 2012

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
4 whole chicken legs, skinned

For the Dipping Sauce:
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate (see Note) dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small Thai chile, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
To marinate the chicken: In a mini food processor, process the cilantro, fish sauce and pepper to a coarse puree. Coat the chicken with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

To prepare the dipping sauce: In a bowl, combine the dissolved tamarind with the fish sauce, lime, garlic, chile, sugar and water.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Light a grill.

Rub the chicken with the oil and rub the grill with an oiled paper towel. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked.

Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the dipping sauce and serve with the chicken.

To serve family style, place the chicken on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve the dipping sauce in a bowl along side.

Enjoy!

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Cook’s Notes:
Tamarind concentrate is available at Indian and Latin food shops.

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