Yield: Yields 2/3 cup sauce.
A last-minute basting of a lemongrass and cilantro paste gives this dish a wonderful aroma. The tangy ginger-lime dipping sauce is also great with other roasted or grilled meats and with steamed fish.
Fruity-floral Rieslings and Gewürztraminers are ideal. Try Kabinett-level Rieslings from Gunderloch and Zilliken. Or try these varietals: from California, Edmeades’ Mendocino Gewürztraminer or Bonny Doon’s Pacific Rim Riesling; or from the Pacific Northwest, Amity Gewürztraminer of Oregon or Hogue Riesling from Washington.
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Both my husband and I enjoy Vietnamese cuisine and so I usually have all the ingredients for dishes such as this on hand. Did pick up some lemongrass at our huge local Asian market yesterday, and prepared this with a 3.5 lb Bell & Evans air-chilled chicken which I butterflied. It took only one large stalk of the lemongrass to yield 1.2 cup of finely minced. Marinated about 4 hours, let it sit outside the fridge for an hour, and then roasted in 12" cast iron skillet for 45 minutes at 400º. The final coating with the lemongrass/cilantro mix was perfect, and the pan juices also kept everything moist and bursting with flavor. What really put this over the top, though, was the dipping sauce. Don't omit. It's outstanding, and you'll have plenty left over for other Vietnamese dishes.
I just made this tonight and it's incredibly delicious! It was super flavorful and moist! Here's how I made it a little faster than the recipe. I got the chicken in the marinade in the morning and roasted it 9 hours later. I just put it all in a large ziploc bag and turned the bag every hour to get the entire chicken well marinated. I spatchcocked the chicken to cook it faster and let all the skin get a chance to brown. Then, I roasted it directly in a cast iron pan for 30 minutes at 375F, and then cranked up the heat to 400F for another 15 minutes. I basted the chicken with it's own rendered fat every 10-15 minutes. Once the chicken came out, I gave it one last basting. Make sure to spoon up some of the browned bits in the pan or run your cut chicken pieces through it. There's huge flavor there! With the sauce, I doubled the lime juice since I prefer a more tart dipping sauce.
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