Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ping Gai Chicken - a Laos Dish

I have never been to Toronto, nor have I ever been to Laos.

No, but this was just one of those recipes I had to try out because even reading the recipe made my mouth water.

Apparently, this dish (Ping Gai Chicken) is a dish from a restaurant called Queen Mother Cafe in Toronto. It's a barbequed chicken dish that supposedly hails from Laos. Ping Gai translates to grilled ("ping") chicken ("gai") in Laos, so calling it Ping Gai Chicken (ie Grilled Chicken Chicken) isn't strictly accurate.

But back to this recipe.

This particular recipe was enough to make my mouth water from reading it because it had everything I liked in chicken - garlic, lime juice, cilantro and barbequed.

I JUST had to try it.

Sadly, the chicken turned out good, as did the wonderful sauce.. but.. it wasn't fantastic and certainly looked nowhere near what I was expecting.

You can pretty much tell from the photo below.

And the main reason for this sad outcome was because my grill broke down when I started making this dish. I love this grill of mine - I use it for making paninis mainly, and grilled chicken wings. But it refused to work and I was forced to throw these well marinated chicken thighs into the oven. And because I had guests over, this delayed dinner for about 45 mins and the chicken did not get that lovely burnt skin.

Hence, instead of looking like this...

 Picture from this blog (I really like this blog, by the way)

It looked like this...

The chicken as it was marinating (left) and my end product (right)

You can imagine my disappointment.

But this recipe is definitely a keeper and I'd have to remember this for all future barbeques!

Recipe adapted from here

4-6 chicken thighs, deboned

1 bunch Fresh Cilantro
6 cloves Garlic
1 tbsp Black peppercorns
3 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce
1 cup Water
1/2 cups Sugar
3 sprigs Fresh Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbsp White Vinegar
1 tbsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
Instead of using Thai Chilli Sauce, I used 1 tbsp of Dried Thai chilli flakes

What I did and didn't do
Marinade: Blend all the ingredients with a handheld blender and process until finely chopped and well combined. The marinade should look pretty green.

Place chicken in shallow glass baking dish. Pour marinade over and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap. Marinate at least 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.

Dipping sauce: Combine water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Continue cooking 10 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Cool completely. Add to food processor with cilantro, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, chilli flakes and fish sauce. Process until smooth.

Preheat grill or BBQ and grill for 6- 8 minutes on each side.

If roasting in the oven, you will not get the wonderful black burnt bits. But if you prefer this anyway, preheat the oven to 200 deg C and roast for about 45mins, skin side up. You might want to brush the skin with a bit of oil to ensure it gets crispy at least.

I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on top and then served with the dipping sauce.

By then, dinner was really quite delayed and I was too flustered to remember to take a photo of the dipping sauce.

I will be trying this out again and will hopefully have better pictures to post then.


Malar said...

Your chicken end prodcut look yummy too! I will try it!

Open Kitchen Concept said...

You are so kind, Malar! Thanks! But do try it.. it's a nice recipe...

I am Hap(py) said...

ya that is something about charcoal bbq char food :P~~

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Yes, Happy.. indeed.. Been a while since we had a BBQ right? We should think of a reason soon.. Hahah.. :)

Pam said...

It looks and sounds really delicious.

Rene said...

Yours also look yummy! I want! I've bookmarked this page for your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

The last time when we wanted to grill on our electric grill, we couldn't find the electrical cord. So we ended up pan-frying everything. =(

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Thanks Pam and Rene!

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