Lately, I have a bit of a thing for food that is sweet and sour and spicy all at once. Like this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork. Or pretty much anything with an “Asian” flair.
And I say “Asian” because I don’t pretend to know much about what real Asian food is.
I don’t pretend to know much about which foods can really define another culture unless I have actually visited the place and tasted it firsthand. It’s a lot like my first trip to Mexico, which was to help build a house for the less fortunate and not a vacation. But on the trip, I tasted firsthand Real Mexican Food. From then on, I haven’t enjoyed Canadian Mexican Food quite as much. It just pales in comparison.
But I happen to quite like Canadian Asian Food. CanadiAsian? I like that.
I know our representation of Asian food might not be totally accurate, but I just love that combination of sweet, sour and spicy.
I blame it on the baby inside me.
He/she is anti-anything-with-buttercream and loving pickles, chips, lemon, rhubarb — basically anything acidic or salty.
It’s not that eating chocolate or a ridiculous over-the-top dessert would make me ill, and I wouldn’t even call it an aversion. I would just say I now prefer a lemon cupcake over chocolate. Whipped cream over buttercream. A big jar of pickles over a big fat slice of cake.
I’m probably just in denial.
I like to think of myself as pretty normal even during pregnancy. So I make up excuses to help myself believe that not much has changed.
Anyway. This chicken.
The coconut milk marinade is so creamy and just slightly sweet. If you didn’t know it was marinated in coconut milk, you probably wouldn’t get a lot of coconut flavour from it. So if you’re worried about not liking the taste of it, don’t worry.
The sauce smells pretty potent when you’re cooking it, I’m not gonna lie. You might get a little bit worried that it’s not going to taste good. When you taste it by itself from the pan, it’s going to be pretty strong. But it pairs so incredibly well with the chicken. Realize, as you’re tasting it, that it’s a glaze, and not a sauce that you will eat like one would eat spaghetti sauce. Though I serve this chicken with rice and spoon a generous spoonful over top of that as well.
It’s tangy, sweet and spicy. The glaze reduces to this beautifully thick, syrupy consistency that doesn’t simply run off of the chicken.
If you’re a CanadiAsian (AmericAsian?) lover like myself, you need to try this chicken!
- 3-4 large chicken breasts (mine were massive, and I sliced them into 7 average portions. You can always use more smaller breasts)
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups white vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts, coconut milk, ginger and ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Seal bag and use your hands to combine ingredients. Marinade in the fridge at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Over medium heat, grill chicken for about 10 minutes per side (**Note: cooking time will vary greatly depending on thickness of your chicken. Use your own discretion here.)
- While chicken is cooking, combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, pepper flakes and jam in a medium pan on the stove. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook about 20 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Watch closely and whisk constantly as the glaze starts to get close to being done -- it can burn quickly because of the high sugar content. Glaze will thicken considerably after it starts to cool down.
- Spoon glaze over cooked chicken and serve with rice or noodles.
Adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry.