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Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell Photo by: Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell

Seoul-ful Chicken with Minted Cucumbers

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

Cooking Light APRIL 2008

  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers:
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • Chicken:
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 262
  • Calories from fat: 31%
  • Fat: 8.9g
  • Saturated fat: 1.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.8g
  • Protein: 29.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 14.9g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Iron: 2.7mg
  • Sodium: 502mg
  • Calcium: 40mg
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Seoul-ful Chicken with Minted Cucumbers Recipe

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