While lemongrass is a key component in Southeast Asian dishes such as Beef Rendang or Satay Skewers it almost always comes in a larger bunch than I can use in any of these dishes. That’s why I’ve come up with several ways of using up leftover lemongrass.
With a gingery citrus aroma that’s both floral and herbaceous, lemongrass pairs marvelously with honey. In fact, one way I often use up leftover lemongrass is to make a lemongrass and honey tea. Hot out of the teapot, It’s great for warming up in the winter months and served chilled over ice, it’s even better for cooling off during the summer months.
For this dish, the lemongrass and honey are the stars of the dish. First the chicken is marinated with lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce and salt, giving it a fragrant savory base. Then it’s pan fried before being steamed in a mixture of honey and Chinese rice wine. Finally the liquid is boiled off and the honey is caramelized to make a sweet shiny glaze that sticks to the chicken.
The resulting chicken is juicy and savory, redolent of lemongrass, and coated in a caramelized honey glaze. Because the chicken is first marinated in umami rich fish sauce, it’s deeply flavorful and provides a wonderful contrast that balances out the sweet glaze.
Honey Lemongrass Chicken
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- .25 ounces (7 grams, 1 large clove) garlic
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 15 ounces (420 grams, 3-4 thighs) chicken thighs, skin-on boneless
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- cilantro for garnish
- Grate the white part of the lemongrass as well as the garlic into a bowl using a microplane, or finely mince using a sharp knife. Add the fish sauce and salt and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and mix to coat evenly. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the honey and shaoxing together until combined and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and then add the vegetable oil. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down and fry until golden brown. Pressing down on the chicken with tongs will help the chicken brown evenly.
- When the chicken is browned on one side, flip it over and brown the second side.
- When the second side is browned, use tongs and paper towels to soak up as much oil as possible.
- Add the honey and wine mixture to the pan and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam the chicken until cooked through (3-4 minutes).
- Remove the lid, and turn up the heat to reduce the honey to a thick glaze, flipping the chicken repeatedly to coat evenly. Be careful not to burn the glaze.
- Garnish the chicken with cilantro and serve with jasmine rice.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.