Saturday, May 10, 2014

Five Spice Grilled Chicken with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

A little motivation from famed runner and philosopher, George Sheehan, for you today: 
 "Behind the enthusiasm, behind the inspiration, behind the passion, there must be the will. We can choose. We can decide. We can will to do it our own way. When we do, nothing can prevail against us."

Mr.Sheehan is on to something here. And I don't know about you but sometimes we all could use a little motivation. I, in particular, this week could use a little extra shove. I'm feeling worn out. This Sheehan quote has been a favorite of mine since my uncle gave me one of his books. It reminds me that it's largely the decisions we make that drive our successes. I feel that I have been making a lot of important decisions in the past couple of years. That can be intimidating.

 Luckily for me seven years ago I made the best decision, when I picked Blake. I made an even better decision 2 years ago, when he asked me to spend my life with him, and I said yes. That decision makes all the others seem trivial. Even when faced with the toughest of choices, I have already made the decision that is going to see me through this life. The decision that makes it all spectacular. So this week, while I may be stressed by other important decisions, I can take comfort knowing that I have already made the most important decision of them all. 

And you thought we were here to talk about five spiced grilled chicken, didn't you? You didn't click the link to hear about the life philosophies of Kate. You clicked because you were hungry. The connection here is that I have been feeling stressed this week and I didn't feel like devoting hours to the kitchen. I needed tasty food and I needed it quick. This five spice chicken dish is all of that. Easy to prepare, light, and delicious. The chili lime sauce is particularly wonderful and would be good over any steamed veggies. Make this dish. It's a good and simple decision. 

Five Spice Grilled Chicken with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce
Serves 4, Adapted from Sunset's Great Outdoors Cookbook 

2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tsp sugar
1 lb chicken breasts
1 package rice vermicelli (found in Asian aisle at grocery stores)
1 cup shredded and quick pickled carrots (recipe to follow) 
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cilantro 
1/4 cup crushed peanuts 

For the chili lime sauce 
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar (white wine vinegar will work too) 
2 tbs fish sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most grocers) 
2 tbs oyster sauce (if you're grocer doesn't carry oyster sauce, just do 4 tbs fish sauce)
Juice of 3 limes 
1 jalapeno, minced

Prepare your chili lime dipping sauce. Mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Whisk in the rice vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, and jalapeno.

Mix soy sauce, olive oil, Chinese five-spice powder, and 1 tsp sugar. Add chicken to the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes.

Heat grill to medium heat.

To pickle the carrots heat apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in sauce pan until boiling. Remove from heat, add shredded carrots and set aside until ready to use.

Boil water in a sauce pan. Once boiling add vermicelli and remove from heat. Allow the vermicelli to stand in the water 3-5 minutes and then drain.

 Remove chicken from marinade and cook on the grill 5-7 minutes on each side until cooked through. Place chicken on cutting board and thickly slice.

Serve chicken over vermicelli and top with carrots, cilantro, peanuts, and chili lime sauce. Enjoy!

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