Hello fellow Nomaste-ers! Happy Monday! How are you all doing? Hope you're staying dapper! Well It's almost summer here in Connecticut, and everything looks, feels and tastes better! It is also grilling season, and I just love that about summer. I really do feel that grilling is the most delicious way to eat ever! You get the smoky, the savory and the meaty all in one go. Yum. Those primal instincts run deep.
And since we're on that Mango kick, I don't think I've fully made my point yet and proven to you that you're not eating enough Mangoes (sorry!). Yes, please do go get some right now and change your life completely in an instant! I also wanted to exhibit how versatile Mangoes as a food item, and we did that with the sensational Mango Chorizo Sandwich and the refreshing Chick Pea and Indian Mango Summer Salad. Those two recipes are reason enough you should try experimenting with Mangoes in your cooking. OK, I'm not here to bully you, but you get the point. Right? ;) Well then off you go!
So last night I was scrolling through the endless eye candy on FoodGawker and I ended up craving an Asian style meal. Unfortunately, I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so we went grocery shopping this morning and brought back everything I needed for a dish that I had very little idea about how it's going to end up.
This recipe is a one of a kind, a maiden voyage into the seas of endless creativity and Mango heaven. A true figment of my imagination, which I've never made before!
I love the feeling of creating something new, sort of like walking down an uncertain road, that leads to something good. And that's exactly what happened here with this dish. It was amazing! The Mango puree and the spices marinate the Chicken and make it moist and tender as a gentle spicy aroma wafts through the air.
The sauce is born out of the same marinade that was used for Chicken, drizzled over a bed of soft white Rice and finally topped with pickled Carrots and Ginger. This recipe turned out so good and hit the spot just right, taking good care of that Asian meal craving I had the night before.
The chicken bore ample crunch as well as caramelization and the silky Mango Ginger sauce added freshness and smooth decadence, all finished off with the clean and mildly sharp bite of the pickled Carrot and Ginger.
Ginger is an incredible ingredient! It can play different roles within a dish, depending on how you use it. It can add that subtle element of spice, or sweet, or bring a calming freshness to your food. Not to mention its medicinal properties. I can't believe my mouth is salivating yet again, as I write this. Think we need to move on to the recipe and how to make. Let's do it!
Indian Mango & Ginger Jalapeño Chicken with Same Marinade Sauce and Pickled Ginger Carrot Garnish
2 ripe Indian Mangoes. Peel, scoop out flesh and cut into medium size chunks.
3"-4" piece of Ginger
2-3 cloves of Garlic
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Fish sauce
1 Jalapeño pepper
1 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp oil (I used Grapeseed)
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro
1 Lime (juiced)
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra ingredients for the drizzle sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp Sugar
Dash of Sriracha if desired (who wouldn't?!)
2 Carrots (washed, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks)
3-4" piece of fresh Ginger (peeled and cut into thin matchsticks like the Carrots)
1 cup white Vinegar
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
1 Ziploc bag
4 pieces Chicken thighs (I used boneless and skinless and I recommend that you use the same)
4 cups Asian style rice (short grain)
8 cups water
Time to hit kitchen street!
First thing first, I hope you're making this meal for the next day, because the longer you let the Chicken marinade, the greater your reward is going to be. If that's not the case, then I say at least give it 3 hours or so of get-happy-time.
This marinade is super easy and super awesome!
Plug in the blender. Throw all ingredients. Puree well. Marinade is done.
I would taste it to see if you need extra Soy Sauce or heat. Adjust accordingly and reserve 1/2 a cup or so for the drizzle sauce you'll be making while the Chicken is marinating.
Add remainder of the marinade to washed and dried Chicken (do not cut Chicken into smaller pieces)
Close lid. Set in fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is ideal.
Boom. You did it! You're on your way to Asian culinary bliss faster than you can say Asian culinary bliss. Moving on.
Pickled Veg: While all that action is taking place in the fridge, it's time to pickle our Carrots and Ginger. Again… this too is very simple!
Bring forth that Ziploc bag. Add Vinegar. The Salt. The Sugar. Carrots. Ginger.
Seal bag and double check to make sure it's sealed tight. Shake well or dance with it. Set in fridge. Pickled veg is done!
Rice: On high flame bring the water to a boil in a large pan. When the water starts to bubble, carefully throw in the rice and cover the pan partially, keeping an eye on the water, lest it boils over. Turn down the heat to medium. Stir every 5 minutes. The rice should take all of 15-20 minutes. Check the softness of one grain of rice out of the pot, and when it's completely soft, it's done. Drain any excess water and cover the pan and set aside.
Mango Ginger Sauce: Start a pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp Grapeseed oil and let it heat up. Once hot, add the Mango Ginger marinade to the pan and the 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce and 1 tbsp of Rice Wine Vinegar, the Fish sauce and the Sugar and stir it around till it runs thicker and sauce like. Let it cool for 15 minutes and transfer to a small container.
Chicken: Hopefully you've let the Chicken marinade for at least a good couple of hours. Now it's time to pan fry the chicken. Start a pan on medium-high heat and wait for at least 5 minutes for the pan to reach the right temperature.
I have the most analog way to check, and that is by placing my hand over the pan, if I can't hold my hand over the pan for about 5 seconds or so, it's too hot, if I can hold it for way longer—not hot enough.
Well, once that pan is hot enough add a dash of Grapeseed oil to the pan (or any other oil—but Grapeseed Oil holds up best at high heat) and throw a piece or as many as you like on the hot pan. Expect to hear a big sizzle! If you do, then you're all good!
Now the hard part. Do not move the Chicken around, let it go for 6 minutes or so on each side and you should achieve some gorgeous caramelization. Once done, remove from pan and (check for internal doneness as thighs take a bit longer) transfer to a dish, loosely cover with a foil tent and set aside.
At this point, I smell the sugars and the Ginger all over my kitchen and right at the tail of those aromatics, sits the Jalapeño, making it's presence felt. Our place smells sweet, refreshing and highly appetizing.
We are almost done guys! Time to assemble.
Put down some rice as the base and place on it your most beautiful piece of Chicken! I know, I know, it's hard to choose, they're all your children, but we all have a fave! Pick that one :)
Drizzle some Mango GInger sauce over the Chicken and Rice and garish with those little gems you made a little while ago—the pickled Carrots and Ginger.
Top off with some Sriracha and you are done! Asian style dinner (or lunch) is done. Take a look at this stunning plate. On one hand I don't want to eat this, but on the other hand... I'm totally crazy. Guys, I'm digging in, are you joining me? Please do.
Much love and Nomaste!