And now for something completely different… With the proliferation of Asian restaurants and groceries in Paris, as in many other cities, Thai cooking is currently within reach of anyone who wants to try it. And thanks to my sister-in-law, who sent me a fabulous Thai cookbook for my birthday last fall, I have been trying it quite a bit. So here, for the first time on The Everyday French Chef, is a Thai-style recipe with a French touch.
Poulet à la citronnelle façon Thaï / Chicken with lemongrass, Thai style
The trick to making this dish is to simplify by cutting out hard-to-find ingredients. But don’t tell anyone — they won’t guess, because the flavor is supremely Thai. The one essential ingredient is the lemongrass. Here in Paris it is available at some outdoor markets and at Asian grocery shops. After experimenting, I found that it’s entirely possible to leave out more exotic ingredients, like galangal, kaffir lime leaves or coriander root, and substitute simpler ingredients, for example lime juice and fresh cilantro.
The cookbook I received for my birthday has been a perfect guide. It is New Thai Food by Martin Boetz, who runs a Thai restaurant in Sydney. For anyone who’s really serious about Thai cooking, I highly recommend it. His book does not contain this recipe, although it certainly inspired me to try my hand at Thai cooking — and to innovate. Chicken with lemongrass has now become a staple in our home, and wins applause when I serve it for guests. So if you enjoy Thai flavors but prefer to cook in an everyday style, do give it a try.
Meantime, I learned this week that Saveur magazine has opened nominations for its annual Blog Awards. If you enjoy The Everyday French Chef, I would be thrilled to be nominated by you in any one (or more) of the various categories, which include Best Writing, Best-Designed Blog and Most Delicious Food, among many others. Click here to go to the awards page. Nominations close on March 13.