Category Finalist, Entrées. "My family loves Asian food, and I enjoy its vivid flavors and colors. This is my spin on Korean grilled chicken with a speedy kimchi-type accompaniment. I prefer using chicken thighs for this dish because they are juicier and tastier than boneless breasts. This dish is simple enough for an after-work dinner but scrumptious enough for guests." —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
To prepare cucumbers, place cucumber slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing well. Drain 1 hour. Place cucumber slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Combine cucumber, shallots, and next 6 ingredients (through chile) in a large bowl; toss gently. Cover and set aside.
To prepare chicken, place each chicken thigh between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to soy sauce mixture in bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place 4 thighs in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 thighs. Place 2 thighs and 1/2 cup cucumbers on each of 4 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.
Wine note: Serve an herbaceous sauvignon blanc to echo the crisp freshness of the dish's cucumber and mint. Chilean versions, like Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2007 ($11), strike a balance between the crisp, green flavors of the New Zealand–style wine and the juicy tropical fruit and melon of California versions in an affordable package. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
Excellent recipe! I let my chicken marinate for over 4 hours, and I thought the final "glaze" that resulted on the grilled meat was fantastic (I would highly recommend additional marination time). Super easy recipe with a majority of items already stocked in your fridge / pantry. The minted cucumbers are great, but I caveat that with the fact that my serrano was very spicy and drowned out some of the other flavors in this one. Next time I plan to use a jalapeno so that the rest of the dish shines. I served with grilled white asparagus for a very wonderful meal on a steamy night. The salad is refreshing and the chicken not too heavy for the summer heat. Will absolutely make again! P.S. - i skipped the set time for the cucumbers (no issues noted) & preped 4 hrs in advance of dinner; the juices melded into a nice sauce so in my opinion, you can just chop up all the ingredients for the salad, mix and move along! Enjoy!
OK, well, it seems like a lot of the top reviews came from folks who marinated the meat a long time, even overnight. We marinated the meat 30 min. per the recipe. Granted, we didn't pound it flat. It was good but nothing special. We'll try it again pounding the meat, but I wonder if maybe the extra marinating time is worth doing. The cucumber salad was just average. We'll tinker with it, but as written but without pounding the meat, good but not great.
I have made this recipe literally dozens of times. It's one of my husband's ultimate favs. I prepare the marinade in the morning and let the meat sit in the fridge all day. We grill it outdoors and serve over brown rice. The chicken is always so tender and juicy! Sometimes I add a little dab of gochujang for an extra Korean kick. I must admit, I have never pounded the chicken and it seems to be an extra step that is easily omitted. Many times, I don't have fresh mint for the cucumbers, but dried mint works fine, too, just use much less. If I don't have a fresh chile pepper, I just use extra cayenne.
Great flavor - made for the 4th of July with CL's Island Rice, cucumber salad and a platter of roast veggies - big hit! Marinated for 2-3 hours then grilled. This will definitely be a part of the chicken rotation from now on!
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