Lemongrass Chicken & A “Wish it was Summer” Cocktail

Ginger Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs marinated in coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass.

I almost titled this “Mother Nature is a bitch” but I didn’t want to get on her bad side.

See, I’m a summer person; I tend to daydream about sunshine from October all way until June. So it’s no surprise that last week my mind was on white sandy beaches when Portland got buried under 7 inches of snow.

Within the first hour of “Snowmageddon,” most of Portland was in a panic. People left work in droves, restaurants closed and the roads were flooded with cars as everyone tried to make it home before the worst of the storm hit.

I, on the other hand, was simply mad.

Sure snow can be pretty, but come on — I got through all of December and January marveling at how mild the weather was only to let my guard down in February. It was just cruel, and the cruelness continued for three days, ending with a stint of freezing rain that coated the streets in a layer of ice.

And even as the days finally warmed up and the snow began to melt, I continued to give in to thoughts of tropical beaches, palm trees and fancy umbrella drinks. It was not a good mental path to go down when the city you live in is covered in dirty slush.

But it did inspire me to use some tropical ingredients in my dinner — bringing a small ray of sunshine into my life. This coconut, lemongrass and ginger chicken is a recipe from the Bon Appetit Food Lovers Cleanse — one I tried out back in January and liked so much I made again. I paired it with a gin cocktail (the Rubies & Thorns, also from the FLC 2014) simply because snow makes me want to drink.

The chicken is incredibly easy to make and with a tweak or two will end up on my menu rotation for sure. First tweak: I’m not huge on boneless skinless thighs, the texture is just a bit stringy to me. After trying this recipe twice, I’ve decided future versions will need to be made with either a bone-in skin-on thigh or just a breast, if I’m trying for a lower calorie meal.

I also think it needed a few squeezes of lime to brighten things up.

Besides that I think this dish is a winner. The lemongrass and ginger, mixed with a dash of turmeric, add plenty of spark and even just a few hours in the marinade was enough to impart good flavor into the meat.

The cocktail is also simple — and beautiful in its simplicity. Though it only calls for a half of an ounce of gin, it tasted just as good even better with a full shot poured in. The thyme simple syrup adds the depth it needs to be special.

Together this dinner certainly worked at cheering me up!

Marinated chicken thighs

Marinated chicken thighs

Ginger Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Coconut Lemongrass Chicken, Gin & Juice

Gin & Juice

Rubies & Thorns (Blood orange juice, lemon thyme simple and a touch of gin)

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12 thoughts on “Lemongrass Chicken & A “Wish it was Summer” Cocktail

  1. That dirty slush thing is the worst part about snow. We had a nice snowstorm up in Mammoth this past weekend, and got out of town before it turned dirty and slushy. That beverage looks good, I’m gonna make that after my couple days of not drinking is over. 🙂

      • ha! right?! When I saw BA allowed cocktails on that cleanse I was excited. Then I read the recipe and was like “guessing I’m making mine a double!” It is nice though — very refreshing. Good for those times when you want something to drink but don’t want to get sloppy.

    • I think slush is why I hate winter so much. In Kodiak it was just too wet to appreciate the snow. Unlike Anchorage, which is usually pristine white in the winter, Kodiak was always grey, brown and slushy. It really ruined snow/winter for me. But I do find that snow is a good excuse to drink, so there’s a bonus in there somewhere.

  2. It all looks fantastic. Will be making that cocktail absolutely. Even have a blood orange in the fridge as I write 🙂 And I think it’s funny that snow makes you want to drink.

    Count your blessings that you do not live in Minnesota as it’s been butt-kicking cold here. And we’re hard to freeze out. AND, you’d be an alcoholic.

    • To be fair to snow, many things make me want to drink! =)

      But yeah, I burnt out on it from 18 years in Alaska. I moved to Oregon thinking it never snowed here just to be proved wrong over and over again. But it’s NOTHING like the mid-west in terms of cold (whew!). I’d never make it there!

  3. I think February can be the toughest month to get through. We’ve had so much winter already and begin to convince ourselves spring is coming, then BAM! Actually, in upstate New York that happens in March, too. And sometimes in April! I like the idea of a mini-vacation through dinner and cocktails though!

    • Yes, it’s just so dreary — but tropical food and cocktails never fail to cheer me up! =) I have to remind myself that a 4-day stint of snow is really nothing. I grew up in Alaska and I remember searching in the snow outside for Easter eggs so I should be used to it. I just (wrongly!) thought by moving to Oregon I could escape it…

    • Yeah, a total waste of chicken, unless you braise them maybe. But the flavors were really nice, looking forward to seeing how much more delicious it is with a bone-in product…And it’s hard for me to say anything bad when my mouth is occupied with drinking! =)

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