ONE of the dishes featured in Chef Martin Yan’s special dinner held at the Glasshouse of New World Makati Hotel was Char-grilled Lemongrass Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens. It caught everyone’s attention because it had the distinct flavor of lemongrass (*known as tanglad in the Philippines), an ingredient that Southeast Asian countries traditionally use in their respective cuisines. Chef Martin’s sit-down dinner menu was all Vietnamese fares, since Manila formed part of his Taste of Asia tour to promote his new show, Asian Food Channel (AFC)’s Taste of Vietnam, which is now airing in Manila every Friday at 7:00 p.m. until November 27, 2015, on Cignal Channel 26 and SkyCable Channel 22.
Here, we are sharing the recipe of his Char-grilled Lemongrass Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens, which you might want to try at home.
For the chicken and marinade:
1 whole spring chicken, trimmed and cut in half along the spine
3 pcs. lemongrass stalks, bottom 8 inches only, finely minced
2 Tbsps. minced garlic
2 pcs. bird’s eye chili, minced
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
2 tsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
For the dressing:
2 Tbsps. Ponzu sauce*
2 tsps. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 pc. bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced
1 pc. green onion, thinly sliced
2 pcs. Kaffir lime leaves, middle rib removed and leaves sliced thinly
2 tsps. packed brown sugar
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated
For the garnish:
1 pc. tomato, sliced
1/2 pc. cucumber, sliced
black and white sesame seeds, ratio of 1:5
3 sprigs cilantro, cut into 1-inch pieces
1. In a large bowl, combine ingredients for the marinade. Mix until well incorporated. Add to chicken halves and rub all over. Cover and leave to marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
2. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
3. Remove as much marinade chunks from the chicken as possible, then brush chicken with a small amount of oil.
4. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken halves, skin side down, flat on the grill and press with a brick wrapped in tin foil. Cook for about 12 minutes and turn over. Cook other side for another 10 minutes or until cooked through, with internal temperature of 165˚F.
5. To serve, toss lettuce leaves with dressing and place on a platter. Lay grilled chicken on top. Garnish with tomato and cucumber slices on edges of the platter. Sprinkle chicken with black and white sesame seeds. Top with cilantro.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.