This lemongrass chicken is super easy to make as long as you can get your hands on some fresh lemongrass. This is easy enough in large urban areas or areas with a large Asian population but I know in some parts, it can be tough. A lot of grocery stores sell cut lemongrass stalks (usually about 4″ long) in those plastic herb containers nestled among the other packaged fresh herbs.
If that is all you can find, go for it but if there is any way you can get the long, uncut fresh stalks of lemongrass (think Asian food stores), that will take this to another level.
You can use this chicken in a zillion different ways. Toss it onto a salad, in a rice paper wrap for spring rolls, into a stir-fry, alongside some cooked veggies and cauliflower rice or a Bánh mì sandwich. Anyway you serve it, you are going to love it!
- If you do a lot of marinating, you may want to consider purchasing a meat marinator. I have this one, it’s awesome and now discontinued. I am not sure why because it works great and gets good reviews. We got it as a wedding shower gift in 2007. Williams-Sonoma also carries this one. The point of the Marinator is to significantly cut down on marination time. You can infuse flavor into meats, poultry, fish and even vegetables in minutes instead of hours. I also use mine to make Ceviche in less than 30 minutes. Not a commercial but I just realized I’ve never shared before about the marinator and we love it and use it all the time!
- 1¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2½ Tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass (only the tender inside part from the stalk – You need four to six 4″ pieces or two long stalks)
- 2 Tablespoons mild oil (I used avocado oil)
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- FOR MARINADE:
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a large glass bowl or gallon size ziploc bag.
- Finely chop garlic and add to sliced chicken.
- If you are not using already cut lemongrass (usually around 4″), trim the stalks in 3 to 4″ pieces. Grab something heavy (and sturdy). I used a large, mostly full glass olive oil bottle. Whack the lemongrass a couple of times until smashed apart. Peel off the very tough outer layers until you get to the tender inside part. Set aside and continue smashing lemongrass until you have a pile of the tender parts. Finely chop and measure 2½ Tablespoons.
- Add chopped lemongrass, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to chicken and garlic. Toss until well coated, cover or seal and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- See NOTES for alternate marinating method.
- TO COOK:
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add the chicken in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan so the chicken browns and gets a nice crust. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the center is no longer pink. If your pieces are not evenly sized, you may have to leave the larger pieces in a bit longer to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.
- Remove and repeat until all of the chicken is cooked. I used a 12″ cast iron pan and cooked the chicken in two batches.Serve and Enjoy!