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Lemongrass Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Native to Southeast Asia, lemongrass is a fibrous, scallion-shaped herb with a delicate grassy-lemony flavor that has none of the acidity found in lemon juice. Fresh lemongrass can be found at Asian markets, specialty greengrocers, and at many supermarkets. If unavailable use dried lemon grass (soak in hot water for 20 minutes). Or use 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 stalks fresh lemongrass (2 tablespoons minced)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro or mint for garnish (optional)

Wash and dry the chicken and trim off any fat. Cut the chicken breast across the grain on the diagonal into 1/8-inch strips. Cut these strips into 2-inch pieces. Combine the chicken, honey, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl and stir to mix. Let marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.

Trim the green leaves and root end off the lemongrass stalk and strip off the outside leaves. What remains will be a greenish cream-colored core 4 to 5 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Mince the core finely: You'll need about 2 tablespoons.

Just before serving, heat a wok (preferably nonstick) over high heat and swirl in the oil. Add the garlic and lemongrass and stir-fry until fragrant but not brown, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until the pieces turn white, about 1 minute.

Move the chicken to the sides of the wok and add the onion to the center. Stir-fry until the onion loses its rawness, about 1 minute. Mix the chicken back in the center of the wok, add the remaining fish sauce, continue stir-frying until the chicken is cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Correct the seasoning, adding honey or fish sauce to taste. The dish should be a little sweet and salty. Sprinkle the chicken with the cilantro, if desired, and serve at once.

274 Calories per serving
32 g Protein
9 g Fat
1 g Saturated Fat
15 g Carbohydrate
185 mg Sodium
85 mg Cholesterol

Reproduced by permission from Viking.
High Flavor Low-Fat Chicken © 1996 by Steve Raichlen

WINE RECOMMENDED: Australian chardonnay or beer

SPICE RECOMMENDED:Hanoi Hot (substituted for lemongrass -- 1 tbs Hanoi Hot)

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