We actually made these chicken thighs, which Nigel Slater refers to as wings (seemingly for the fun of it?) over two weeks ago, but I haven’t had the chance to write about them until now. This isn’t the chicken’s fault. The chicken was delicious.
It’s the fault of summer. Matt’s parents came to visit and we spent the Fourth of July weekend in Santa Ynez, which was really amazing. There was a pool and a giant front yard where Matt and his dad played soccer with such intensity that we’re pretty sure he went home to Pittsburgh with a broken toe. We picked raspberries in the hot sun and watched movies at night. But my favorite part by far was not being in charge of meals and cooking and/or cleaning up after them.
The other reason things have slowed down over here is because I’m almost four months pregnant. This sentence should be followed by an exclamation point I know, and it definitely did ten weeks ago when we first found out we were pregnant. But then I got nauseous and stayed nauseous for about seven weeks. And then I got happy once I could eat things that weren’t a baked potato or a French fry or potato latke with sour cream. But then I stopped sleeping well. And well, that’s where I’m at currently. Excited but tired and overwhelmed; Matt and I have a lot to do in the next six months. (And hopefully some of that time will be spent sleeping. Maybe?)
They say that just like every baby is different, so is every pregnancy. And following this pattern: so is every pregnancy announcement on one’s blog. Specifically, I’m thinking about the big way we unveiled the news about Teddy and it’s making me laugh. We were so young and quick with the video camera back then!
And now we’re announcing this major news with chicken thighs.
Speaking of: Nigel Slater has you baking the thighs in the oven. However, he does mention that you could grill them. Since we wanted to get a really nice char on them, we went for the grilled option. And then we served them with some short-grain brown rice and a salad with a soy sauce/rice vinegar/grapeseed oil dressing.
Like so many things, it was messy but well worth it.
Chicken Wings and Hot Sauce from Nigel Slater's Notes from the Larder
For the marinade:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove of garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 teaspoon sugar
8 to 12 chicken thighs, depending on their size
For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
a thumb-size lump (Oh, Nigel!) of fresh ginger
2 large hot chiles
the juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
Make the marinade: put the oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and fish sauce in a small to medium-sized bowl. Peel and crush the garlic, thinly slice the lemongrass (removing any tough outer layers as you go), and add both to the bowl along with the sugar. Mix thoroughly. And then pour into a shallow bowl. Add the chicken pieces and set aside for at least an hour. Overnight is great.
For the dipping sauce, put the fish sauce, water, rice vinegar, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Peel the ginger and chop it finely with a heavy knife, then crush it to a pulp with the flat of the blade. Add the ginger to the pan and let the mixture boil till it has started to thicken slightly. Leave to cool. Remove the stems from the chiles, halve the flesh, and chop it finely. Don't discard the seeds; you need their heat for this. Stir them into the sauce with the lime juice and soy sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the marinated chicken pieces in a roasting pan or baking dish and roast for twenty-five to thirty minutes, till their skin has become lightly golden and their flesh is cooked through. (The only directions Nigel gives about grilling these is to make sure the heat is low enough for the meat to cook right through to the bone. SO, that's what we/Matt did.)
Serve with the chile dipping sauce, spooning it over the sizzling chicken.