My chef sister, Fiona, is my go-to source for hands-on cooking advice and one of my biggest culinary heroes and influences. But even more important? Fiona came up with an umami-packed, Thai-inspired chicken recipe that immediately became a family favorite.
Her green marinade is a breeze to throw together: Simply blend together a sweet onion, handfuls of herbs, fish sauce, apple juice, lime zest, and pepper. The marinade pairs well with just about every protein imaginable, and it works great as a sauce for pouring over grilled meats or drizzling in soup.
Pro tip: Make a double batch of the recipe and freeze half of the marinated chicken for a future meal.
I've never marinated chicken in fish sauce before, but the results were fantastic. The chicken didn't taste fishy, but just had really deep, savory flavors that were balanced out by all the fresh herbs blended into the sauce.
I love that this recipe can be cooked on a grill or just baked on a rack in the oven for an easy weeknight meal.
- Christine, May 2015
Fiona's Green Chicken
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
1 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
1/4 cup packed mint leaves
4 tablespoons fish sauce, like Red Boat
3 peeled garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lime
Plenty ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons apple juice (or 1 teaspoon maple syrup if you’re not on a Whole30)
3 pounds chicken drumsticks or thighs
Make the marinade by combining the onion, cilantro, basil, mint, fish sauce, garlic, lime zest, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, and apple juice in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. Since I use this as a marinade, I'm more heavy-handed with the salt than I normally would be if it was a sauce.
Place the chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pour the marinade over it. Let the chicken marinate overnight (marinate for at least an hour and up to a day).
The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before you're ready to grill it. (See Recipe Notes for oven-baked method.) Set a gas grill to high and after placing the chicken on the grates, immediately decrease the temperature to low.
Grill the chicken for approximately 25 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F) turning every 5 to 7 minutes. But be patient: Don’t go and flip the bird (legs, that is) before they naturally release from the grill surface — otherwise, you’ll leave a lot of tasty, crispy, marinated skin stuck on the grates!
Serve the drumsticks with lime wedges.
- Oven-Baked Chicken: If you are baking the chicken, roast on a wire rack for 35 to 45 minutes at 400°F. Start with skin-side down, and flip skin-side up at the 20-minute mark.