This has been one of our favourite chicken recipes for the BBQ for many years. It’s quick, simple and oh, so delicious…just the way it should be, even when going low FODMAP.
It is based on a recipe in a little “Thai Cooking” book that is part of my collection (some may say vast collection) of Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks. I have tweaked it a bit to reduce the FODMAPs. I start by making a paste to marinate the chicken in. I quite like this part because I get my mortar and pestle out for a bit of pounding action; call it therapy if you like.
This paste uses the roots of fresh coriander. Sometimes you have to hunt around for a bunch or coriander that hasn’t had the roots removed but I usually find my local Asian grocer is reliable. The coriander roots, and stems for that matter, are so full of flavour and perfect in a paste. All they require is a good wash and to have the fine hairy bits trimmed off.
Also in the paste are dry spices, garlic infused oil a little sugar and chilli. Now you could use a fresh red chilli or two if you can handle them, but I often reach for my handy jar of Sambal Oeleck that’s in my fridge. Sambal Oeleck is a chilli paste with no onion, although check the ingredients listed on jars. I find ½ – 1 teaspoon is enough to add flavour without too much heat.
While the chicken is grilling on the barbeque it is basted with the smallest amount of coconut milk. It helps keep the chicken beautifully moist. I buy a very small can of coconut milk, 165ml I think, but only use half. Now, I know some of you don’t like using coconut milk or coconut products at all. The recently released edition 3 of “The Low FODMAP Diet” from Monash University recommends limiting dried shredded coconut to no more than ¼ cup per serve. Coconut milk is not mention specifically, but if you would like to read more please visit here. If you really don’t want to use coconut milk you could try substituing evaporated milk.
The chicken is served with a sweet vinegar sauce which is made while the chicken is marinating. White vinegar is simmered with some sugar until it reduces and starts to caramelise. After cooling a little, a small clove of garlic and a little more Sambal Oeleck is stirred in. If you find even a small amount of garlic is a problem just leave it out.
This makes quite a generous serve of chicken, although we never seem to have trouble finishing it all off. However, you could freeze half of the marinated chicken for later, and you could even freeze the leftover coconut milk for next time.
1kg chicken thigh fillets
⅓ cup (80ml) coconut milk
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander root
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
1 teaspoon mild curry powder (check that it has no onion)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ – 1 teaspoon Sambal Oeleck or fresh red chilli
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Sweet Vinegar Sauce
¾ cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1 small clove garlic, crushed
½ – 1 teaspoon Sambal Oeleck
Trim the chicken of excess fat and cut each fillet in half or thirds if large. Place in a large non-metallic dish or plastic bag.
Trim the coriander roots of the fine hairs then grind with the remaining ingredients to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the paste to the chicken and mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (longer is fine too).
To make the sauce, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a simmer, cooking uncovered for 5-10 minutes until the syrup starts to turn a caramel colour and has reduced by approximately ⅓. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and Sambal Oeleck.
Cook the chicken on a preheated barbeque for 5-7 minutes on each side, basting with the coconut milk, until browned and cooked through. Serve with the sweet vinegar sauce.