Saturday, March 10, 2012

Roasted Chicken (Marinated in Fish Sauce)

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(2-3 servings)

For many of us there are probably a number of memorable dishes we've tried and will never forget. For me, it's often a trip down memory lane. From the simple and very delicious seasoned meat patties (ćevapčići) I purchased from a street vendor in the former Yugoslavia, to an extravagant four course meal (about 25 years ago) at Le Bernardin in NYC, where I sampled the most amazing sea urchins.

Sprinkled in between are tasty and unusual dishes which have made a huge impression on me.  One such meal was here in Dallas a few years back. The main course of grilled cornish hens had spent a lengthy dip in a savory fish sauce marinade, before hitting the hot grill. They were absolutely wonderful; crispy on the outside and deliciously succulent on the inside. I have thought about them often.

Recently I got in touch with the host about those hens. He remembered the dish but no longer had the recipe. A great shame, as it had been an amazing combination of flavours.

I've tried to recreate that marinade from memory, and used it here on chicken thighs. I roasted them in the oven because it rained the day I planned to grill them. I loved them, although they weren't the same as those cornish hens. Sometimes it's more than the dish itself that makes the meal memorable.

1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
2-3 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken thighs, (about 1.5 lbs)

Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, honey,chili flakes and black pepper in a non-reactive bowl. Add the chicken, cover with wrap in leave in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours, turning over once or twice.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Lightly oil a baking dish and add the chicken in one layer, skin side up. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until the juices run clear from a thigh pierced near the bone. If the skin isn't as dark or crispy as you'd like, then place the chicken underneath the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Serve with a spoonful or two of the juices which have gathered at the bottom of the pan.


Moni said...

Very interesting idea to marinate the chicken in fish sauce. It seems very tasty. Congratulations for the wonderful recipe.

QT said...

Looks really goood! ;)

Sue said...

I've heard of chicken being marinated in soy sauce. I think fish sauce sounds like a wonderful variation.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is a wonderful dish! I am a big fan of fish sauce. A great marinade.



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