When spring finally arrives, we tend to look for light and flavorful ideas for poultry. Marinated overnight in a spicy rub, this recipe for Asian-style lemongrass chicken thighs can be cooked on a bbq grill, in a grill pan, or in a sauté pan. The addition of our easy Ginger Cilantro Sauce adds some spicy heat and pairs perfectly with our side dishes of grilled baby bok choy and crunchy lemongrass glazed baby potatoes.

Asian-Spiced Chicken Thighs
4 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
Ginger Cilantro Sauce (see recipe)

To make the marinade: process lemongrass, shallot, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes in a food processor to a fine paste. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a plastic re-sealable bag. Add lemongrass mixture and rub on the chicken. Chill at least 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat a grill pan or 12” sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and remove any excess rub. Brush with the oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and cook until the chicken is browned and the internal temperature reaches 165˚F, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with foil, and rest 5 minutes. Serve over the Ginger-Cilantro Sauce with the Lemongrass Glazed Potatoes and Bok Choy in bowls. Serves 6.

Ginger Cilantro Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped shallots
8” piece chopped lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, center only
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic cloves
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice one lemon
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

In a saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot, add the shallots and lemongrass and often stirring, cook until softened about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute then immediately add the wine, chopped ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the wine by half for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the contents to a high-speed blender with the lemon juice and cilantro leaves. Blend until smooth, adding any additional salt to taste. Add the warm sauce to bowls and top with the chicken, potatoes, and baby Bok Choy.

Lemongrass Glazed Potatoes
½ cup sugar
3 stalks of lemongrass, chopped
1 pound small baby potatoes
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter

Lemongrass simple syrup
In a saucepan over medium heat add the sugar with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar melts into the water. Remove from the heat and add the lemongrass stalks; set aside to cool about 30 minutes. When cooled, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container to remove the lemongrass stalks. Set aside.

Glazed potatoes
Scrub the potatoes clean, put them in a pot, and cover with 2-inches of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a small thin knife. When cooked, strain and allow the moisture to evaporate off the surface of the potatoes.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot; add the butter and melt. Add ¼ cup of the lemongrass syrup and cook until reduced about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, gently turning occasionally until all the liquid is gone and potatoes are turning golden.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy
3 baby bok choy
Olive oil
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

Heat a grill pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cut the Bok Choy in half and brush the cut side with olive oil. Place cut side down in the pan and cook until browned and seared. Brush the back-side with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then turn over and grill the back side until the Bok Choy has wilted but is still crispy.