For most of us Ugandans, lemongrass is associated with tea (hot beverages) because we love our Chai! I was unaware that this backyard leafy plant is versatile until I tasted lemongrass chicken about 6-7 years ago. I was mind blown, to put it lightly. This is me recreating this epic chicken. The result is fragrant spicy flavored chicken that will become addictive. I am using Yo Kuku chicken thighs which are great for this recipe because they cook very fast so you do not have to worry about half cooked chicken.
What you will need:
3 Yo Kuku chicken thighs (500gm)
A bunch of fresh lemongrass
1 Tsp. Lemongrass root, grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Chili, ground
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. chili oil
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 orange
- Lemongrass is a common backyard plant but if you cannot access it, you can buy it from local food markets
- The lemongrass root was obtained by uprooting the plant.
- It is important to use minimal oil since the chicken releases oil while cooking.
In a bowl, combine the grated lemongrass root, garlic, black pepper, ground chili, paprika, chili oil, orange juice, soy sauce and salt. Mix well. Add the chicken and mix well. Let the chicken marinate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours if you are in a hurry.
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place a nonstick pan on high heat. Add half a teaspoon of oil. Add the chicken and lemongrass. Cover the pan and let the chicken pieces fry while taking in the fragrance of the lemongrass. Do not discard the marinade.
Once the chicken has browned well on both sides, pour in the marinade and reduce the fire. Let the chicken slowly cook in its juices till fully cooked. This will take about 30 minutes. Leave the lemongrass in the pan till the chicken is fully cooked. Add the orange zest a few minutes before removing the chicken from fire.